We want our children to feel loved but how do we show them love in ways truly matter to them?
By Lori Ann Davis
Raising happy, healthy children is one of the most rewarding things we can do in life. This might be our goal but children do not come with manuals. Raising them is not always an easy task. It takes conscious effort every day to make sure our children know who much we love them.
Here are 5 ways to get you started.
Learn their love language
Just like us, children have their own unique love language. To make things more difficult, their love language and yours may not be the same and each child may have a different one. One child might like nothing better than to spend time with you while another prefers the latest gift you gave them. Most of us tend to show love in the way we want to get love. Before you spend all your time and money, ask your child what they prefer. Give them love in the way that means the most to them. All 3 of my daughters love nothing better than time with me. It can be an outing that cost money or simply cooking a meal together. They feel loved just the same. You can see the spark in their eyes when I suggest we do something together. There is no doubt how much it means to them.
Tell your children that you love them, even if it isn’t their primary love language. This may seem obvious but we can get so busy in life that we forget to tell our children how we really feel. Tell them not only that you love them but tell them why. Let them know what they do that makes you smile. Praise them for as many things as you can. Make sure to praise not only actions but qualities you like as well. Encourage the positives and build their self- esteem.
Listen to them
Spend time looking your children in the eye; give them your undivided attention, and listen to them. Be curious, ask questions, and let them voice their opinions without judgement. Don’t always try to solve their problems unless they ask for help. This is one of the best ways to show support for your children’s individuality. What better way to show love than to love them for who they are? Sometimes it is hard to take our children seriously when they are voicing an idea or opinion that doesn’t seem realistic to us as adults. Remember, they are just children and we had crazy ideas when we were young too. You don’t have to agree with them and their facts don’t have to always be realistic, just listen with interest.
Seek them out
How many times have you suggest your children watch TV, play on a device, or send them outside so you can have some peace and quiet? There is nothing wrong with that as long as you find quality time to spend with your children. The next time you want to show them love, go find them and ask them to spend time with you. Create habits where you are physically present and active in your children’s life. We love our movie and game nights at my house. Even if we play the same game time after time or watch a movie I really don’t like, it is worth it to create the experiences and memories together.
Encourage their dreams
It can be easy to get caught up in the vision you have for your child’s future. You know their strengths and weaknesses. You want them to be productive and happy adults. So when children come to us excited about their latest and greatest dreams, it is tempting to bring our adult perspective in to the conversation. Children’s dreams can change daily and can seem unattainable. How do you respond to these conversations? Do you take the time to really listen and show support?
Your children will be grownups before you know it. So take the time to get to know them as children, savor the moments, and really love them.
Lori has a unique and passionate approach to love and relationships and believes that everyone deserves and can have the relationship of their dreams. Her mission is to provide you with the skills you need to have the unstoppable relationship you deserve.She has over 28 years’ experience empowering individuals and couples to live richer, happier lives. Her practice spans the spectrum from dating and singles to working through divorce to renewing long-term marriages. She is the author of: Unmasking Secrets to Unstoppable Relationships: How to Find, Keep and Renew Love and Passion in Your Life. Visit her website!