As parents, we say the words “love ya”, or “I love you” to our children all the time. Well, at least I hope you do! But how do you say it so that your child knows you mean it… really mean it? We all know it’s not the material things that show love; it’s what we say, and how we say it. Here is what I’ve witnessed and been guilty of as well: We say, “I love you” when we’re “on the fly”. We say it fast when we’re hanging up the phone. We say it when we’re scrolling and staring at our blackberries while we catch up on important priorities. I’m sure we all mean it, and that our kids appreciate hearing the words they grow accustomed to at these times. But, when these three little words are delivered so mechanically, do our children really feel and absorb the intensity of love that we know we strongly feel for them as parents? What can we do to really let them know that they are the most important loved persons in our world?
During a round-table discussion, several parents suggested delivering the words with a hug. A wonderful suggestion was to turn toward the child with full attention, a warm expression and most importantly strong eye contact. You know the saying… “the eyes tell it all”. One father suggested using these techniques when your child is calm and receptive, such as right at bedtime. The group agreed that bedtime offers strong bonding opportunities. Another excellent idea included saying “I love you” without any other baggage like “but I wish you would….” or “I love you when…”. Remember, we never want our kids to think that love comes with conditions. Lastly, if the opportunities or words just don’t materialize for you, then you can always write them down in a “love-note”. Leave it in a lunch box, on a pillow, or taped to an i-pod or television.
What ideas work best for you? What else can you think of to bring monumental value to your children when you say “I Love You”? Though this is a basic concept, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share your ideas in our community forum.
No matter how you do it, just do it effectively. Let your child know that he or she is the loving center of your world.
Success to all!