Five ways to show you love them this Valentines day
Children need to be assured of your love for them – everyday. When you think you’ve told them you love them enough, tell them one more time…
But just saying “I love you” is not enough. So here are a few things you can do that will be a constant reminder to your little ones of how much you love them:
Have a special name/names you call your child
It might sound silly, and some people are totally against pet names, but if you have a special/cute/silly name you call your child (term of endearment), this name will forever conjure up memories for her of special times you’ve shared. Use this special name when you’re having a cuddle, having some quiet reading time together and in times when your child needs assurance of the consistency of your love for her.
We all have an innate desire to be in control of our own lives and so does your child, no matter how old she is. Giving her a sense of power over her world is a gift – she will know that in the freedom you give her to make some choices for herself, you are telling her you love and trust her and want the very best for her.
Some parents worry that giving children choices is allowing them too much freedom and opening up opportunities for them to make mistakes. However, if you want to start letting your tot flex her independence muscles, give her a choice between three items in her wardrobe, not the entire wardrobe. Ask her whether she would like fish cakes, spaghetti or chicken soup for dinner. As your child’s ability to make choices grows you can expand the choices.
Something else we respond to as adults is knowing that we are being heard when we express ourselves. And it’s just as important – if not more important – to let your children know they have a voice in the world, that what they have to say is worth listening too.
Not only is listening to your child a great self-esteem booster, it’s also an opportunity to show your child that you love him enough to listen when he speaks.
When you can, sit with him (get down on his level), look him in the eyes and respond with understanding. Express joy when he’s excited about something and show empathy when he’s upset.
Touch is one of the most powerful expressions of love and children probably need to be touched more than we as adults do.
A quick hug, a ruffle of your child’s hair, a squeeze of the shoulder and even holding hands are all ways you can communicate the constant presence of love.
Long cuddles and massage sessions are also wonderful ways of bonding.
Children want to hear about our lives as much as they want to share theirs with us. They long to hear stories about when we were young, they’re riveted by tales of what the world was like in the “olden days” and they also want to hear about it when you have a tough day at the office (not all the details) and when something exciting happens to you.
By letting them into your world, you allow them to feel a part of it and the flow of love between you easier and more natural.
It’s not always the obvious gestures that make the people in your life feel loved. Take care to find out what makes your nearest and dearest feel loved…and then spread the sweet, sweet love.
Enjoy the journey.