I have four children: a 9-year-old girl, a 6-year-old girl, a 4-year-old boy and my youngest, a 2-year-old boy. That’s right, two big girls and two little boys. If there’s one thing I’ve learned – the hard way, through trial and error – is that each child needs to be shown love differently.
There’s no one way to love them all the same. As a mom, I need to discern how to communicate love to each of my kids’ individual personalities and how they feel most loved.
For instance, I show love to my oldest daughter by reading books together and then discussing them over hot chocolate after her siblings have been tucked in bed. And my 6-year-old squeals with excitement when we sit down and do crafts together at the kitchen table.
All my 4-year-old wants to do is wrestle with his dad, and my youngest son needs to be held quietly while the two of us watch the morning news together before the morning rush begins.
Every child needs something different, and it’s only through slowing down and getting to know what makes each of my kids tick that I have I learned how to love them the way that suits them best. Below are a few of my favorite ways to demonstrate love to my kids. I hope the list inspires you in ways you may not have considered before.
10 ways to communicate love to your kids:
1. Date them. Set up one-on-one time with just them, doing an activity that they love. It may be going out to ice cream, seeing a movie, or taking a trip to the park.
2. Compliment them. Tell them just how proud you are of them! Take notice of how hard they’re working in school. Let them know you see the little things, like tidying up their bedroom or taking pride in their appearance.
3. Stash a love note in their lunch bag. It only takes a pen and a post-it note to make lunchtime even more special. Let them know in writing that you can’t wait to see them after school and hear all about how their day went.
4. Make dinnertime special. Take turns making your kids their favorite meals. Don’t forget to let them know you made it especially for them, because you know they love it.
5. Read “I love you” books together. Books like 100 Ways to Know God Loves Me, 100 Ways to Love Him Back by Stephen Elkins remind us just how much God loves us. You can remind your kids this is how a parent loves a child as well.
6. Display their art work around the house. Choose a few pieces you know they’re proud of and frame them. Hang their work proudly on the wall for everyone to see and admire.
7. Pray out loud with them. Thank God for your amazing kid in front of them, and ask God to help them through their struggles. Let them hear how you are raising them up to our Heavenly Father.
8. Make seasonal “bucket lists” of fun things to do together as a family. Spend the season working through the list. Make a snowman, complete a 1000-piece puzzle, enjoy hot chocolate, watch a movie together, have a dance party in the living room, etc.
9. Maximize the power of touch. Hold their hand, brush and braid their hair, give hugs and kisses and back rubs. In good times and in hard times, never stop showing them physical affection.
10. Let them teach you something. Sit down and play their favorite video game or invite them to teach you to make a Rainbow Loom bracelet. Let your child show you something new!
I’m sure you can come up with countless other creative ideas for communicating your love to your kids. Telling your children you love and value them is undoubtedly essential, but showing them just how much you care about them is incredibly important as well.
What’s one of the ways you’ve found to communicate love to your kids in a way that’s unique to their individual personalities? Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!