It’s a given that we love our children. We let them know every day—in the morning, before dropping them off at school and at bedtime. Telling your children you love them is great, but showing them is even better.
Six little ways to show your children love using a resource you have right at your fingertips: time.
- Listen to them. Nothing brightens a child’s day more than getting your undivided attention. So turn off those distractions and sit down with your children. Ask them how their day was. Discuss their dreams or other things they’re looking forward to. Encourage them to talk to you about any problems they might have or worries that are plaguing them. Make it clear that you’re there for them 100 percent of the time, no matter what.
- Spend one-on-one time together. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to lose yourself in what needs to be done around the house, but many of those chores can wait. Instead, schedule alone time with each of your children. Go out to lunch, take a leisurely walk or just hang out together to let them know you value each of them as individuals, as well as part of the family.
- Have a family fun night. Set aside a specific night each month where you sit down as a family and watch a movie, play games, have a dance party or do crafts. Stay up late or get up early if you have to. Even the busiest families can carve out a few hours to spend time with their loved ones. You can, too.
- Eat meals together as a family. We all know how difficult this can be, but if your family dines together at least two or three meals per week, you’ll have more talking time, which is key to growing your relationship. Share your recent accomplishments with the family or talk about upcoming plans that everyone is excited about.
- Touch your child. Cuddles, kisses and hugs are wonderful ways to show affection toward your child. And older children aren’t immune. A squeeze of the shoulder and tussle of hair are simple gestures that convey a lot. Make no limits on when you show affection. Every moment counts.
- Remember them. Whether it’s a sweet little note in their lunchbox or picking up a small treasure while you’re out running errands, they want to know they have a place in your heart and mind when you’re not together. Such small tokens of appreciation go a long way in making your children feel loved.
And what’s the best way to let your children know you love them? Just say the words: I love you. Don’t assume your children already know. Tell them. And tell them often.