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What Does the Word ‘Love’ Mean To You?

What Does the Word ‘Love’ Mean To You?

“Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!”

Moulin Rouge – a movie all about love with their well-known quote, “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return”. The movie perfectly portrays how two people who were not allowed to be together would do everything in their willpower to love each other till they take their last breath.

That’s probably the general view of loving someone unconditionally that you would do everything and anything to be together. However, with over 7 billion people on this planet, not everyone will have the same definition. Love is a very diverse term. Everyone needs it in some way or another, and therefore, everyone has their own definition to what ‘love’ means to them.

Haikal, 12, Romantic, Adventurous

In my opinion, love is not how much you say ‘I love you’ but how much you can prove it’s true. It’s about how patient and kind you are, it does not include boasting, it is not how arrogant and rude you are.

Love means accepting a person with all their failures, stupidities, and their imperfection. For example, love means there is no more busy world, it’s always about priorities. You will always find times you feel the most important about.

So in conclusion, I think love is a variety of different feelings; it’s about accepting someone for who they are and have feelings and do whatever it takes to have their forgiveness or even their heart.

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Joseph, 21, Withdrawn Over-Thinker

I don’t believe in love at first sight. Attraction at first sight, yes. Affection at first sight, perhaps. But love?

Love, to me, rests on the same cline as companionship. And companionship is the foundation of love. Respect, understanding, and enthusiasm are the pillars on which this foundation is built – not initial attraction, not initial perception.

I suppose I am, to an extent, a victim of the ‘mere-exposure effect,’ in which a preference for someone or something comes with familiarity. I was close friends with my girlfriend for seven years before ‘asking her out,’ and I truly think that this friendship has served as an excellent point of reference over the last two years.

Therein lies the crux of my contention: love is not the gunshot signaling that the race has begun, but nor is it the feeling of crossing the finishing line. Love is the race – the journey – itself. Cliché? Yeah, sort of, but I do think it holds that the muddy concept of ‘love’ cannot be confined to the claustrophobic space of initial meeting, and this casts heavy doubts over the idea of love at first sight.

I respect but can’t identify with the desire for ‘one night stands’ or ‘wicked hooks,’ or whatever lingo is being used these days to denote seemingly frivolous dealings with a significant (or not so significant) other. It simply isn’t in my personality to consider such physical interaction to be so detached from emotional connection.

Of course, that’s not to say that love is static; it is an ever-changing construct, arbitrarily named and largely blurred at its edges. For some people, love at first sight might both exist and be fruitful, and I’m totally fine with that. In fact, let me make an amendment to my opening statement: I don’t believe in love at first sight for me.

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Love exists outside the realm of human relationships, but I think nuanced meaning clouds its existence. I love coffee, I love the fresh air, and I love poetry, but I’m not in love with them.

I am in love with my girlfriend.

Kirsty, 23, Secretly Sentimental

An important element of love is to love yourself. Accept yourself and embrace the parts of yourself that you don’t necessarily like about yourself. This is an important lesson in how to love someone else. If you love yourself, you can be more generous with the love you give to others. You find yourself feeling more fulfilled and more loved than you could possibly imagine. You’ll find yourself smiling at the thought of whoever it is that you find you love. Love means seeing flaws and accepting them as positive traits. You’ll feel a sense of completeness that you never knew you were lacking in the first place, and no matter how long you’ve been apart whether it be hours or months you’ll feel like you’re coming home.

Luke, 21, Avocado Enthusiast

To possess a true love for something, some place, some ideology or someone and feel the reciprocation is often perceived as a final hurdle on a pathway to utopia, ‘a hypothetical place or state of things where everything is perfect.’

If I were to use something as simple as an “avocado” as a representation of any human, object or place capable of being truly loved; love can be defined to me as the feelings you are overcome with when you stumble across one of these wonderful green oval-shaped specimens, one that is of perfect ripeness, far superior to any avocado you’ve found on the shelves before. So flawless that as your knife pierces through the delicate skin effortlessly leaving you two immaculate halves not only does your heart and mind constantly discover new boundaries of excitement but a level of contentedness and satisfaction settles in.

With a little feta cheese to accompany, all spread over the finest sourdough toast, and experienced in your own personal paradise, each bite brings forth feelings of invincibility and superiority that not a thing in the world can overcome the sheer happiness. I love avocados.

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Sarah, 14, Open-Minded and Exciting

What is love to me? Love is something unconditional and can’t really be explained in words. Of course, I’ve never experienced it yet, but it’s something I wish to feel in my lifetime.

The best way you can really say it is, it’s a feeling that you can’t shake, no matter how hard you try. The feeling when you love that special someone or something you can never live without. The feeling to need them and protect them.

Love is when you look at that person, and your heart accelerates, you get goosebumps. Every time you touch them you feel the electricity radiating off the both of you. You can never feel selfish with them and sacrifice anything or everything if it means you can be with them for the rest of your life. It’s when that person makes you happy no matter how you’re feeling. No matter the gender, ethnicity or person.

But love isn’t easy, it comes with consequences and sacrifices that if you are willing to make you know you’ve found the right someone/something.

I know very few people who are truly, deeply, and madly in love with each other, and let me tell you every time I see that it gives me the shred of hope that there actually might be someone out there for me.

So that’s what love is to me. How bout you?

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Sharvin, 19, Dog Lover

Everyone at a pinnacle point in their life has experienced love regardless if they were loved or have been loved. It’s an inevitable feeling that captures the heart with full on passion, infatuation, and desire. It comes in all sorts of forms like with family, friends or an intimate love. In my experience, love “feels so good but hurts so bad”, I went through many amazing memories of my life with the women I love but at the end, it will either end up a fairytale or just like a wrecking ball being swung at you at immense pace.

My love generally lies in the animal kingdom. Such exquisite creatures roaming on our planet for millions of years and have been proven a predominant significance. Dogs are my favorite, especially pugs, golden retrievers, shih tzu, and corgi’s! I have a pet dog that, in all honesty, feels like another younger sibling. Their presence is a remedy for sadness or stress; they will be there through your ups and downs, which clearly defines the term, “dogs are a man’s best friend”. They may be a little annoying at times when it comes to barking or pooping all over the house but hey they are not as privileged as humans to have an intellect.

Marina, 20, Classic and Eclectic

To me, love is the most powerful thing on this planet. It can make you go crazy, feel every emotion a human ought to feel all mixed together, it can make you sick, and it can also make you feel more alive than anything ever can. Whether it’s loving yourself or loving someone else (or even loving an idea or a thing), it will consume you and make you feel infinite.

To me, I know that love is the greatest thing out there – that without it, we are nothing. Something that pushes you to achieve it, no matter what others say or who stops you. It’s the happiness it can bring you when you’re feeling down and once taken away, that’s when you feel like everything has gone to hell.

To be frank, it is dangerous to love, but it’s a risk you should be willing to take. Love so deeply it overwhelms you. Once you fall in love with something or someone, you’ll know it. Trust me on this. It may take time, but it’ll be worth it. You just need to find your star.

Featured photo credit: Susanne Nilsson via flickr.com

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NOORMARINA ANWAR

Student, Monash University

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Last Updated on July 12, 2019

How to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining All the Time

How to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining All the Time

Whining children are not enjoyable to be around. The sound of incessant whining can be like fingernails on a chalkboard. Nobody wants to listen to whining. There are solutions to help stop the whining. Below are my top 8 tips to get the whining to stop.

1. Address the Issue

To get a child to stop habitually whining, you first need to address the issue with the child.

There are some children who aren’t even aware that they are whining. In their little minds, they are simply voicing their opinions, concerns, and complaints. They don’t realize that tone and delivery matter significantly in communication. You need to talk to them about what whining is and how it affects you.

When you address the issue with the child, ensure that they understand for their age. A two-year-old and a seven-year-old have very different levels of comprehension. Speak to each child on their level. Use words that they will understand.

For example, in talking to your two-year-old, you can sit down on the floor so that you are at their eye level. Explain that whining is not a good behavior and that you are going to enforce consequences. “You are such a good girl, but when you whine that is not good girl behavior. From now on, you will get time out when you whine. If you want to tell me something use your big girl voice without whining and I will listen.”

When you communicate clearly and on their level, they can better understand that their whining needs to stop. Getting them to understand that their whining is a real problem is the first step.

2. Zero Tolerance for Whining

You need to set a standard in your home with whining. It is not allowed in our home. Does that mean it never happens? No, of course it still happens, my children are human and are not perfect. They whine, but when whining occurs, there are consequences.

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They know that if they whine, they will either get a timeout immediately, or they lose check marks from their chart. We use reward charts in our home. Our children earn check marks for positive behaviors and completing chores. When they complete a 50 box check mark chart, they get to cash it in for a toy or something else that they have been wanting. They can get check marks taken away for misbehavior. Whining, especially in public, can result in check marks being taken away.

It is hard to give a child a timeout when you are at the grocery store or out running errands. Taking away check marks is saved for those situations when a timeout is not feasible. My kids take their check marks seriously, because they are hard-earned. With a threat to take away a check mark, usually their behavior changes immediately.

Yes, bribery can be good parenting sometimes.[1]

Whatever methods of reward and consequence that you may have in your home, it must also apply to whining. You can provide a reward for an entire day without whining. Having consequences that occur when whining happens is what will help change the behavior as well. If you only have empty threats by warning them eight times that “if you don’t stop whining, you are going to timeout” is not effective.

The key to getting the behavior to change is having consequences. You ask them only once to stop and provide a consequence in your request. For example, if my son Charlie is whining, I will say something along these lines: “If you don’t stop whining right now, then you are going to get a 5 minute timeout. If you have something to say, please use your big boy voice and say it to me nicely.” They know that I won’t ask a second time. If they whine again, they immediately go to timeout.

3. Enforce Consequences for Whining Using a One Ask Approach

My kids don’t fight with me about going to timeout. They know if they argue or continue whining, then there are consequences for that behavior. That consequence is increased time in their timeout. I usually start with a three-minute or five-minute timeout. If they complain or continue to whine, my response is “one more whine or complaint and it goes to ten-minutes”. It isn’t just an idle threat either. They know I will follow through.

If the complaints continue, time will continue to be added to their time-out. If we make it all the way to a thirty minute timeout, I will send them to their room and they can lay down for a nap for that thirty minutes. It doesn’t often get to that point, but they know that it is possible, because they have all had those thirty-minute timeouts that mean they go to lay down in their room.

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Your ability to get their behavior to stop immediately is tied directly to your enforcement of the ask. If you ask them to do something, you must have a consequence tied to that request. When they don’t do as asked, then you immediately follow through with the consequence. This is enforcing a “one-ask approach.” When you keep asking them repeatedly to stop whining and you don’t have it tied to a consequence, they will keep whining. They don’t have an incentive to change.

You must ask once for them to stop the whining and have it tied to a consequence if they don’t stop. You must enforce the consequence immediately if they continue to whine after that first warning. This is using the one-ask approach.[2]

4. Provide Them with Communication Tools

Some children whine because they don’t have the right tools to communicate. This is especially true for young children who have not developed good communication skills.

A child who is under the age of two may be whining “mommy” all the time when they want milk, or help putting on their shoes, or they want a toy off a high shelf. Teach them the words and how to ask for those things. For example, using a nice tone say to them “you can ask for milk by saying “mommy, milk please”. Have them copy your tone. If they don’t use the same tone, then repeat the tone and phrase more exaggerated in a sweet voice so they better understand.

Providing children with the right tools for communication by teaching them the words to use is helpful in minimizing whining. You must also teach them about tone of voice at the same time. Because the right words are not helpful if they are being whined. Teach the child tone of voice by providing an example to them. Show them with your own voice how to ask nicely.

5. Be a Model of No Whining Allowed

Children are always paying attention to their parent’s behavior. Their parents and caregivers are their role models. This makes it very important for parents and caregivers to model good behavior.

If you are whining and your child witnesses you doing this on a regular basis, then they will learn to do the same behavior. If you model good communication skills and making requests using a pleasant and civil voice, then they will learn to do that instead of whining.

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6. Praise Them for Changing Their Behavior

If you have a child who is a habitual whiner, then you need to focus on their positive behavior. Using the consequences for the whining is helpful and still applies, but you don’t want your child to feel defeated.

You can help make the situation positive by praising their good behavior. This means when they whine and you ask them to stop and they in turn, stop the whining and ask you again in a nice voice, you respond with praise.

The following is an example: “You did such a good job saying that like a big girl and you changed the way you said that to me. Thank you for saying that to me so nicely, I will get you that glass of milk you asked for.”

Praise reinforces their good behavior. The positive feedback from a parent is greatly desired from a child. Be sure to praise your child when they change their whining into a good tone of voice and good communication skills.

7. Let Them Know What Whining Sounds Like

Some children don’t realize how annoying and irritating whining can be. They don’t know what it really sounds like coming from someone else. If they are in the habit of whining, then show them what it sounds like.

Don’t do it when you are in the middle of one of their whining episodes. Wait until things are calmed and you can have a one-on-one heart to heart chat with them in a sincere manner.

Don’t mock them. Instead, you can say something along these lines: “When you whine, it sounds like this….(fill in with an example of a recent whine)…and it makes me not want to listen to you. I need you to work on using your big girl voice by asking like this….” Then, follow it up by converting the whining statement into a nicely said statement using a good tone of voice.

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Providing them with an example and allowing them to hear what they sound like to you helps them to better understand how annoying and irritating whining can be.

8. Assess What the Whine is Really Saying

Some children whine because they are overtired or they are seeking attention. If whining occurs and it is not your child’s typical behavior, then you may need to assess why they are whining.

My son Alex is typically not a whiner. When he begins to whine, we now recognize that it is because he is really tired and needs a nap or needs to go to bed for the night. If we put him in timeout for whining, it seems that his behavior becomes worse because he is overtired. The solution is to get him down for a nap, or put him to bed. In this situation, we don’t give a timeout. Instead, we focus on the task at hand, which is getting our overtired child put into his bed for some much needed sleep.

If your child is whining because they are in need of attention, then take the time to give them the attention that they are craving. They are only little once. A few minutes of your undivided attention can make all the difference in the world to your child.

It’s Up to You as the Parent to Make Change Happen

Children will naturally whine. It is part of development. For younger children, especially toddlers, the tendency for whining is more likely because they lack good communication skills. It is up to parents to correct the behavior by showing children the right ways to communicate.

If the behavior persists, then parents and caregivers should use a reward or consequence system consistently to change the behavior.

Whining doesn’t need to be a part of your home life. You can set the standard first by your own example of not whining and secondly, by having a system in place for handling whining when it does occur.

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Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

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