It’s a shame, but it’s often after the fact we realize that the day went past without any real muments of love and affection for our children. Of curse you showed your love by driving your son to hockey practice and staying through your daughter’s dance lesson was definitely an act of adoration, but how often do you speak you love out loud to your children?
If you’re not the kind of person to love hugs and kisses, it might be more comfortable for you to demonstrate your love in other means. Perhaps cleaning up your son’s room or washing his white jersey until all the grass stains are gone. Other times we’d love nothing more than to return to the days of infancy when you rocked and held your little one for hours on end – whether you wanted to or not, but something’s always in the way.
At first your young child began to pull away because she was so busy and focused on doing, learning and playing. Then we became so busy, our hands were always full and our mouths gave instructions instead of lullabies. But everyone needs affection, even tough teenage boys who think they are far beyond snuggles with Mum.
In fact, studies have shown that children, primarily young ones, must have a loving touch to thrive. Love is communicated through deeds, touch and words, so be sure you’re covering all three bases.
To make your child feel extra special, go out of your way to make her day. Write a short note about how proud you are of her and slip it inside her lunchbox. Or you can make a special cake to celebrate her great report card. Pay attention to the small things you overhear when she’s on the phone or with friends so you can surprise her with the latest and greatest doll or gadget. Giving gifts and making someone special on a special day, such as a birthday or Christmas, is wonderful, but going all out on a day for no reason other than your genuine affection speaks very loudly of your love, indeed.
Being touched is relaxing and conveys a powerful warmth. Think of how good a big hug feels when you’re feeling blue. Then make it a point to touch your children regularily. Place a hand on your daughter’s shoulder when you’re standing behind her. Rub your son’s head while he’s playing video games. Grab your child and pull him into a bear hug whether he wants it or not. He might squirm and complain, but when your mum acts silly and practically smothers you with love, it’s not hard to see how much she cares about you.
For some, they only resonate with feeling when they hear words of love. To be sure you’re conveying your message on all levels, you should voice the words as often as you think about it. Tell your child you have a secret and whisper “I love you” in her ear. Or ask her is she knows how much you love her. Tell her how proud you are of her and list her accomplishments that make you especially proud – that way she really knows how much attention you have for her good deeds.
Written words can be as powerful as spoken, even more so as they linger on as a reminder when we need one. Write a meaningful message in a card for each occasion rather than just signing your name. When you’re child’s away at summer camp, or just to be silly, send her a card in the mail. Everyone loves to get mail, so write her a letter telling her how happy you are she’s your daughter and post it. You might slip in some stickers or a fun gift card to really liven up her day.