As parents, one of the most important things we can say to our children is “I love you”. We want them to feel safe, supported, encouraged, and most of all, loved. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words though. If you’re looking for ways to tell your child that you love them, this post is for you!
Here are some simple, meaningful ways to show your child that you love them aside from actually saying the words.
Listen to Your Child
Give your child your undivided attention. Yes, that means putting down the phone and showing genuine interest in what your child has to say. Make the time to really talk to them, ask them their opinions, and make sure they know that their thoughts matter. Get on their level and look them in the eyes. A little bit of listening can go a long way in making your child feel seen.
Make Physical Contact
Touch is the most basic way of connecting and comforting. Make sure you initiate physical touch in any way that your child prefers. Hug them, kiss them, cuddle them, high five them, sit with them, lay with them, whatever! This can be especially important for teenagers who may need physical contact, but may not ask for it. Be near your child and know you are there for them!
Create Special Routines
Aim for small connections and special traditions throughout your daily life together. This can be something simple like a fun bedtime routine or baking together every Sunday. These one-on-one, special activities are quality time that you are dedicating to them. Small engagements like this are also perfect moments to have good conversations together.
Show Interest in Their Interests
Step into your child’s world and show interest in things that they love to do. While playing video games may not be your favorite thing to do, it might be something your child loves. Getting on the couch and playing some games with them can make a huge impact. This shows your child that you genuinely love their company and the unique person that they are.
Words of affirmation are a great way to show your child that you love them. Tell them what a great job they’re doing! Make sure they know that you appreciate them and the way they made their bed. Be specific with your praise, build up their self-confidence and self-esteem, and make sure they are learning to love themselves.
Respect their Space
Sometimes, your child may feel loved by just being left alone. Respect their privacy and their space, acknowledge their feelings when they are upset, and let them be, even when you don’t fully understand. Just letting them know that you are there for them is all that really matters.
Being a parent can feel like you’re constantly running from one place to the next – picking up kids from after-school activities, grabbing groceries, cleaning up the house, working, and more. Instead of constantly rushing your child from one place to the next, slow down. Cancel your plans and spend quality time together.
There are teaching opportunities everywhere and introducing your child to new things is both exciting and fun. Maybe your child loves dinosaurs – set up a dinosaur craft, check out some dinosaur books from the library, and learn together.
Do Something Out of the Ordinary
It’s important to be spontaneous too! Maybe there are things you always say “no” to that you can say “yes” to and surprise your child. Have ice cream for breakfast, let them stay up late on a Friday night, or enjoy a special treat after dinner. It’s okay to break the “rules” every once in a while and brighten your child’s day.
Take Care of Yourself
As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Make sure you are prioritizing self-care and taking some time away from your child too. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to pour more love into your little one. Taking care of yourself is not selfish – it’s responsible, and in the end, shows love to your child.