When I was a teenager I took care of children whose parents were attending Parent Anonymous meetings. These parents had abused their children and were now learning effective, non-physical techniques for dealing with their children’s misbehavior. The children I watched had a lot of behavioral issues due to the fact they had been abused by their parents.
One little boy, Joel, especially etched his name on my heart. One day when I wasn’t watching, he painted all over a mirror. I was definitely angry when I saw the mess. Later he wrote on the chalk board, “Kathy, do you still love me?” I reassured him that of course I still loved him; my love for him would always be there even if he misbehaved.
I've never forgotten him and he's part of the reason I created online parenting classes. I wanted to help parents so that children everywhere could experience unconditional love in a home that was safe and welcoming. By now Joel is probably a parent and I hope he is enjoying many wonderful times with his own children!