The words ‘I love you’ are easy for most parents to say to their child. It is a little more difficult with the fast pace of day-to-day life to find time to show kids the kind of love they will most remember you for.
When I think back to my own childhood the fondest memories I have are of the things we did not words that were said. I knew my parents loved me because of their actions not from a single spoken, ‘I love you’ even though it’s lovely to hear and I heard it often.
So here’s the Top 10 Tips that can help create memories of love that will last a lifetime:
- Show and tell. In our home we have an unwritten policy that means we try and express our love in as many ways as possible. Children can learn how to sign ‘I love you’ from quite a young age. Another way is just to point to your eye, your own heart and then point to the person you’re aiming your love at. Both of my boys love having their back tickled before being tucked in at night. So after sharing a story, I will tickle their back and write, ‘I love you’ with my finger.
- ‘I love you because…..’ Simply stating ‘I love you’ can be wonderful to hear. It has even more meaning when there is a connecting reason given to the receiver. The end of the sentence could convey how you feel, ‘I love you because I feel so lucky to have you as my son/daughter.’ You may choose to say something about the child’s appearance, ‘I love you because when you smile it lights up your whole face.’ Receiving compliments can be difficult for adults who have never learned to graciously accept them as children. This one is then two-fold-a compliment and an expression of how you feel all rolled into one.
- Little things impress little people. Sticky-notes in lunchboxes, sandwiches cut into shapes or heading to the playground straight after school are all little things that are a big deal to kids. Think of something you know your child will appreciate and it doesn’t have to cost a cent to be meaningful.
- Spend time wisely. Everyone knows childhood is gone in an instant. Blink once and they’re walking. Blink twice and they’re at school. Blink again and they’re getting their license. I know I want my children to enter adulthood with the recollection that I had time for them. That I wanted to spend time with them, share it with them and try as I might, make it stand still. Capture moments, get lost in the moment but don’t miss the moments of time you could have spent with them.
- Do things as a family. Family time is hard to find for some but so important. There are times when we need to divide and conquer to achieve tasks but ensuring your family has together time is essential. It might be as simple as an adventure in the backyard or as complex as going on a day trip with a picnic lunch.
- Lend a hand and let them help. Helping children shows your willingness to engage in what’s important to them. Like any relationship it needs to be reciprocal. Allowing them to help you with tasks or involving them in your interests shows them that you care what they think and feel and that yo appreciate their willingness.
- Model love. Children learn their cues from adults. Demonstrated love will allow them to see how it’s done and put it into practise.
- Actions speak louder than words. Cuddles, kisses and hugs and lots of them. As human beings we crave touch-the feel of a warm embrace, a kiss from a loved one or to cuddle up together without a care in the world. Not a day should go by when your children don’t feel the warmth of your heart beating next to theirs.
- Greet and farewell them like a long lost friend. Having children understand that you miss them when they’re gone but be so happy to see them again later helps them to understand that they are important people in your life. Sharing the day’s events when together again is a great way to connect with kids.
- Remind them constantly. A day without love is like a day without sunshine.
Most certainly, there are many other ways to express love through actions. If you have a way of showing love you’d love to share I welcome contributions.
© 2013 Kelly Hibbert, all rights reserved.
Image from: here.