It’s been a tragic week in the news. The sort that can make a person wonder what the heck is going on in the world. It is likely true that if I watched more international news every week would be full of heartbreak. It get’s me to thinking and posting things like “It’s a tough world our there we need to love each other better.”

It can be easy to fall in to the commonly held belief that the role of a parent is to prepare our children for the real world, the adult life that they will inevitably enter. And that achieving this is done through setting up adult like lives for them, making sure they know how to wake up early, eat the “right” foods and delay all sorts of gratification. I challenge this with a whole different perspective. The one gift I can offer to my children to carry them through each and every transition in their lives is, unconditional love. I can hand it to them everyday, after every angry out burst and in the heartbroken moments of mistakes well made. This is the one and only tool I believe that will lift them through the heart broken world that often lives outside our front door.

When my child knows my wide open and loving arms are always here to catch them, they are more willing to boldly take on life. To head out and take chances, make big messy mistakes and when necessary retreat in to the comfort of us, their family, to heal and strengthen in order to stretch out again. This foundation of unconditional love is the place where my child grows a deep sense of self worth, a knowing that they matter and are truly worthy of love.

When a childhood is full of play, love of the unconditional and radical self acceptance inevitably a courageous, confident and kind adult will emerge. This I trust to be truth. So when the world outside our home goes all crazy and unpredictable, I hold tightly this knowing, that the gift of unconditional love I give to my children is the first step in creating a more peaceful world.