I’m not a parent. And I hate to give advice to parents because I don’t think it’s fair to give advice about something I’ve never done.
However, for the past eight years, I’ve seen the results of parenting–both good and bad. And quite to be quite honest, by the time kids get to me (fifteen to eighteen) a lot of the work, for better or worse, is done.
In the off chance that this might help just one kid, I just want to say tell your kids you love them. Every day. Hug them. Listen to them.
You might think they “know” you love them because you feed them and house them, but the tears come when they admit that their mom hasn’t hugged them in two years, that they don’t know what they did wrong, and that they wish they could be “better” so their parents would love them.
I don’t think they would ever tell you. I don’t know that they could. But please know that everything you do and say or don’t do and don’t say affects them so much. And it’s absolutely heartbreaking as a teacher to hear that a beautiful young person doesn’t feel loved.