By Beth Pinyerd

I love how our community decorates with light and warmth everywhere for the coming holiday season. As I squint and look at Christmas lights everywhere, love and seasonal delight is in the air!
I reflect back to this year of being back in my hometown after living in south Alabama for 30 years. The quiet acceptance of being greeted and hugged is such an encouragement of unconditional love. I am so very grateful.
During this season of family togetherness and holiday season is such a good time to express unconditional love to our young children. I’d like to share some recipe tips of unconditional love that your child will put to heart and remember through the ages.
Be thankful for how God made your child with different personalities, traits, weaknesses, special needs and strengths. Take time to look at your child and assess what these needs are. Spending time with your child spells L-O-V-E. The true happiness and highlight of their days is for we parents, grandparents,and caregivers to take time and talk to your child, really listen to them in an unhurried manner. Make an effort to really focus on this child and that you just “plain old enjoy” being with them.
We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Allow your child to make mistakes. For example, if children spill a drink, food or break something, don’t corner them and fuss at them in front of others. Turn the situation into a positive as they help you clean up or mend what is broken. This action builds your child up rather than tearing them down. Modeling forgiveness when your children do something wrong is an action that God does for us. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” – a truth that young children understand early in life.
During this busy holiday season, try to lay down and establish a schedule. Even in school, children love routine and “what do we do next” because it makes them feel “safe.” This kind of planning allows we parents, family, and friends to integrate that special one on one celebration time with our children.
Each day is a gift from God! Model this joy and happiness in front of your children. Even though there may be problems and negative circumstances going on in our lives, try not to complain in front of your children. Children do not understand and are very sensitive to dissension, stress and drama that are displayed before them. They internalize the stress that result from unpleasant situations and sometimes they blame themselves.
Love and protect your child each and every day. Having them see and know that you are there to keep them safe, provide for them, and actually verbalizing to them how much you love and care for them builds their confidence and security. Children’s fears are real. We as parents can’t ignore them but it is so important for us to comfort them, and
Last but not least, believing in our children is the greatest gift of life that we can give them. Just knowing that someone is there to believe and encourage us no matter what, is a heartfelt gift of unconditional love that is quietly accepted for life. With this said, the lights of heartfelt love keep shining.
The Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is designed to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing Pinyerd at