Today’s world has become a place where everyone is running around, balancing work, family and extra-curricular activities. We have become a society obsessed with technology and all the latest gadgets. It is easy from time to time to lose focus on the most important things in our lives…..our children. We think that our children automatically know that we love them because we say it, but does “I love you” become a cliche’ after a while? I am a mom that says “I love you” all the time, but last year I discovered that what my children really need is to feel noticed, heard and validated. Of course saying “I love you” is crucial, but showing your love by valuing them goes a long way in uplifting them and helping them feel appreciated.
Below are 10 effective things that I have done to get my message across:
1) Slip them a silly note in their lunch box or jacket pocket. It lets them know you are thinking of them.
2) Surprise them by picking them up from school for a special lunch date. They need to know from time to time that they are worth juggling your schedule around.
3) Try something that they like to do (games, projects etc.) and ask their advice on the best way to do it. This empowers them and makes them feel proud.
4) Out of the blue………ask them “Have I told you lately, how lucky I am that you are my kid?” Stunning them with a moment like that will stay with them forever.
5) Praise their efforts and accomplishments, minimize the attention given to failures, except to lift them up and ask them what they learned?
6) After school we play “Thorns and Roses” my child tells me the best part of his day (the roses) and the worst (the thorns). A game like this helps them understand that you really do care about their day.
7) For no reason at all, give them a card with a homemade coupon inside. The coupon could be for anything you want. Anything from a hug to a movie, just getting the card will brighten their day.
8) Make sure your face lights up when they walk into a room. Nothing feels better than knowing you made someone smile.
9) Let them climb into bed with you or throw a blanket in the back yard and lay under the stars together. It’s moments like these when you can really get your child to open up and share.
10) Eye contact. If they are little, get on your knees and when you say the word “I love you” look directly in their eyes so they can feel it.
I swear by these techniques! I am a single mother and my time with family is scarce, but by implementing “the little things”, I have seen a change in my children and they are secure, confident and our bond is stronger than ever.