Raising children is a messy adventure that goes by way to quickly. It’s important to show your children you love them while they are still young so that they will grow up into confident, well-adjusted adults.
Not every day will be perfect, but you can do little things everyday to show your love and affection. Here are 9 easy ways to show your children you love them.
Pay Attention When They are Talking to You
Sounds easy enough right? But life has so many distractions.
Work. Family issues. Health issues. Social Media. Our kids need to know that they are important and worth setting some time aside for. If you are busy, tell them to give you some time to complete your task, then allow them to talk to you free from distractions.
Fill Them with Positive Affirmations
Being a kid is tough, especially now.
With many districts doing school virtually, kids have limited options for socializing and participating in some of the activities that they love. They may not have an opportunity to shine at home the way they do in school and in their extracurricular activities.
Speak life over your children and encourage them in moments that are hard for them.
Here are a few affirmations you can teach your kids:
I am smart.
I can make responsible choices.
I have the courage to face hard things.
I can handle this.
I will share my smile with others today.
I believe in myself.
I can show respect for myself and others.
Feel free to add your own affirmations to make this your own!
If You Have More Than One Child, Spend Time with Them Individually
If you have multiple children, and they are close in age, most times it’s just easier to do things together.
I get it–I work full time and it’s so much harder trying to coordinate times with one child at a time, but there’s so much value in spending time with your kids invidually.
Your children may not share all of their fears and vulerabilities in front of their siblings, and they really value one on one time.
Teach Them Life Skills
Technology has been such a wonderful gift, but it can also enable us to rely too heavily on it.
This past March, our economy has shifted in a way that has surprised us all. Between mandates on travel and stay at home orders, so many of us have had to learn how to do things at home that we are not use to.
Take some time to teach your kids simple life skills like how to start their own garden, wash their clothes, cook a meal or change a tire.
Teach Them Social Skills
One of my jobs as a school counselor is to teach kids social skills. One of the easiest ways to teach social skills at home is through play.
Kids love games! Use games to teach children how to take turns, how to win and lose gracefully, how to deal with conflict and so much more!
Give Them Opportunities to Use Money
If we want to raise fiscally responsible children, we have to teach them how to use money. Teaching them how to use money requires giving them opportunities to save and spend money.
We can’t expect them to suddenly have a healthy relationship with money as adults if they weren’t given the opportunity as children.
Help your children come up with a goal for how to spend their money. Are they saving up for a big item? Help them keep track of how much they’ve saved vs. how much they need. Let your children have a little say so in the budget. If you’ve set aside $200 for entertainment, have a family vote about how to spend the money and let them know when the money has run out.
Say I’m Sorry When You Are Wrong
I know….this is tough.
Sometimes you lash about because you’re tired. Or you’ve had a rough day at work.
Or maybe you and your spouse have had an argument that hasn’t been resolved.
Your child has nothing to do with your big emotions, but you take it out on them.
And sometimes we blame them for things that aren’t their fault. One of the most powerful acts of love a parent can show their child is to say sorry.
Children need to see that their parents are human, and modeling how to handle wrongdoing is the best way to teach them how to apologize.
Elaborate & Give A Specific Compliment
We’ve been oonditioned to give empty compliments. Not intentionally, but we often give compliments to make people feel good–to perk them up in moments of sadness or disappointment. We also give compliments when we are proud of someone, or admire something they are doing or wearing.
Compliments have the ability to propel children into excellence and give them the confidence they need to achieve their goals. Here are a few ways you can give specific compliments:
Compliment their character. Recognize some of the qualities you admire in your children like tenacity, hard work, honesty or kindness.
Compliment their effort. Sometimes our children have endless effort, but the result isn’t the greatest. Compliment them on their ability to stick with something, even if it is hard for them.
Compliment new achievements. Did your child learn to tie their shoe? Multiply 2 digit numbers? Learn to drive? Complimenting new achievements can help them stay motivated to continue trying new things.
Share Your Birth Story With Them
One of the things my children love is hearing about the day they were born. Right around each of their birthdays, we pull out photo albums (yes, we still have physical photo albums!), and watch videos about the day of their birth.
We talk about how excited we were, what the weather was like, who was there, and all the other fun details!
My middle daughter is the most sentimental and asks to look at her baby pictures more frequently. It’s such a fun way to bond with your child!
Tuck Them In at Night
Bedtime is my favorite time of the day. It’s an opportunity to recharge for the next day and to give our minds and bodies the rest it needs to function.
Bedtime is also an opportunity to bond with your child through stories, songs, prayer or just talking to each other.
Tucking them in at night is an opportunity to create a bedtime routine and show your children you love them.
Instead of focusing on how many minutes you get to spend with your children, focus on making that sure that time is full of quality and memories. You can’t slow down time, but you can use the time yo have to show your children you love them.