How can I show my children I love them? How do they really know? How can I do more than a perfunctory kiss on the forehead and “I love you” before bed? How can I comfort them in the absolute knowledge of our unconditional love?
Do I speak my child’s love language?
Chances are, we might have trouble communicating love to each other.
How I can show unconditional love to my children:
Kids need to hear positive words from their parents. We all need affirmation. Recently, I was accosted by a mom of one of my daughter’s friends. She sang her daughter’s praises but condemned her son. They stood right beside her. I was so uncomfortable. Her daughter beamed and tossed her hair while her son stared at the floor. I felt so sorry for him. He doesn’t feel loved, good enough, worthwhile. That family is all performance-based and it’s so sad. I don’t think empty praise is useful, but finding ways to point out something good makes our kids feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21
Do I have a child who is struggling with motivation? I should look to my words.
A child who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.
How I Can Offer Affirming Words to My Children:
- Thank You Notes in lunchboxes, in drawers, on pillows, on desks, on mirror
- Specific praise for a job well done or great effort or lesson learned
- Boasting about their overcoming a struggle or accomplishing a difficult task
- Thanking God for my children and their talents, gifts, abilities, strengths
- Being courteous and respectful, not raising my voice, and always saying “Thank you” and “Please” and “I’m sorry” when it’s needed
Kids need hugs and kisses and snuggles. My children thrive on affection and I know I am stingy with it. Children who are spanked, hit, or slapped will come to mistrust touch and get confused or flinch away from it. Ask me how I know. It is the simplest thing in the world (and free!) to love a child with hugs, kisses, pats, holding hands, or any of the myriad ways a child will strive to touch.
Most people need about thirteen loving touches per day to feel loved and appreciated.
My son is a snuggler and I know when his tank is full on physical affection, he is happy and content. He’s a great example to me of how to use loving touch more.
How I Will Practice Affection with My Children
- Kiss every morning and before bed
- Hug every time I leave and arrive
- Hold hands when I walk together
- Pat, squeeze, ruffle hair, or something similar when I walk by
- Snuggle more during reading or quiet time
As a mom, I serve our kids all the time. But am I gracious about it? Do I grumble or make my kids feel guilty? I love to do things for my children and I struggle with doing too much sometimes. It pleases me to make their favorite muffins or mend a hole in their favorite pants or help them with a learning concept. When I start to feel grumbly, I’m being selfish. I’m expecting too much of my young children to do for themselves. I try to include my kids in everything I can. We do the dishes together and make breakfast together and hang the laundry together. They’re learning and we’re interacting and they see me serve them by caring for them. And I make sure I thank them for helping me. I model the behaviors I wish to see in them.
Unique Ways I Can Serve My Children
- Pray for and with them
- Teach them useful life skills whenever they’re ready and interested
- Random acts of kindness
- Tell them stories of your life growing up and about their grandparents or other family members
- Respect them and what they feel is important
My kids want to spend time with me. We hear too much lately: “Mama, look at me and not your phone!” “Dad, can your put your phone down and play a game with me?” My kids want my attention. This often goes along with service. I need to put aside the distractions and slow down and just be with my children. They grow up so quickly. Do I want to have regrets? Do I want our kids to have memories of my being too busy?
How I Will Spend Quality Time with My Kids:
- Play a game
- Color or draw or do art journals together
- Go on a walk
- Make milkshakes and talk
- Watch a sunset (or sunrise!)
Of course I want to give good gifts to our children. I love my kids and it’s natural to want to give them gifts.
You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:9-11
I needn’t think of gifts as things I buy from a store. In this era and society of too much stuff, I should look to give my children gifts that money can’t necessarily buy. It often pains me that I can’t give them what I think they deserve or what I think I should give them. Then guilt sets in.
Guilt-free Gifts to Give My Children:
- Classes or Lessons
- Travel Experiences
- Field trips
- Books, journals, diaries, art supplies
- Love notes on their pillow, in their lunch box, in a drawer, on the mirror
I certainly want my children to know that I love them. I don’t want them guessing or wondering. I want them to be secure in that knowledge. I want a healthy, loving relationship with my kids.
I can’t offer them empty praise without being inauthentic. I can’t assume they know that I’m proud of them. And I don’t want them to think it’s only about performance.Linking up: Arabah Joy, Raising Homemakers, My JoyFilled Life, The Fairy and the Frog, Hip Homeschool Moms, Golden Reflections, Los Gringos Locos, Milk&Cuddles, True Aim, The Life of Jennifer Dawn, Blessed Learners, Peaklepie, 123Homeschool4Me, Jenny Evolution,