Life is always so busy and chaotic that sometimes we forget what is most important…love! With Valentine’s Day coming tomorrow, I thought I would remind myself and our readers 20 ways we can show our children how much we love them.
1. Hug them when they are “good” but also when they are “bad.” As much as our children need comfort when they have done something well, they also need to know that despite what they may have done, we still love them even if we have to discipline them.
2. Spend alone time with each child! Do something special during that alone time – go for a walk, read to them, go to the movies, go on a date with your child…
3. Teach your child how to look at life like the glass is always half full. They will be happier overall and realize that some things are just not worth worrying about. Set an example by not fretting about the small stuff. If someone cuts you off while driving, don’t let it phase you…is it really that big of a deal? If they did not get a good grade on that test, do not berate them, help them figure out how they can do better next time.
4. Teaching your child self-confidence and positive self-esteem also goes along with #3. Praise your child for effort and not just results. If they tried, then praise them even if they did not win the game. Explain how losing a game is not a big deal, what is more important is if they had fun (glass half full).
5. Watch their baby videos together. Tell your child stories about them as a baby. Warning – keep the kleenex handy, you may get emotional. Better yet, make it a home-movie night with popcorn and snacks.
6. Teach your child independence! That may mean letting them choose their own clothes even if it does not match. Its not a big deal if they don’t match but your child will have a huge sense of accomplishment and self-confidence for allowing them that independence.
7. Surprise them when they least expect it – put a note in their lunch box, take them to get ice cream after school, leave a note under their blankets so when they get into bed they see your love.
8. Remind them that while they are constantly learning as children, so are we as adults. Our children should know that they teach while we teach them.
9. Put down your phone, walk away from the computer, forget about the household chores and just spend time together.
10. Display their art work around the house, wear the noodle necklace they made for you. It makes them feel proud of their work and you show them how much you them by showing off their art work.
11. Do not harp on the past. Let them start every day new and fresh without worrying about the previous days mistakes.
12. Listen to them, I mean really listen to them when they want to tell you something. They are constantly learning and excited to share, so allow them to share.
13. Keep your promise. If they think you lie or change your mind then they will learn to do the same. If you can’t keep your promise, take the time to explain why, so they really understand.
14. Have fun with them…be silly together. Dance, run around, get down on the floor with them, put on that goofy mask…do what kids do and you will see their joy!
15. Praise/brag about your child to others when your child is within earshot. It is good for them to hear compliments about them, it will make them feel great!
16. Create family traditions – they will feel the love of family and the feeling of togetherness. It could be something as simple as family story time every night before bed or a family walk every Sunday morning. It does not have to be big but it can be. Whatever it is, make it valuable together time that everyone looks forward to.
17. Set limits and discipline them. They may not like the discipline or limits but these things teach them structure and shows that you love them and that is why you are doing what you are doing.
18. Do something different and fun together from beginning to end. Decide on dinner together, go to the store to buy the ingredients together, come home and make it together, clean up together and eat it together. The entire process will give them so many things….decision making skills, independence, together time, love and fun.
19. Bend the rules when time/life permits. Let them stay up late, for once eat dessert before dinner, let them sleep in your bed one night.
20. Do not smother them but always hug them, kiss them and say those 3 special words “I LOVE YOU!” Humans thrive on touch which means children probably need it more than you think.