As parents we know that we love our kids and would be willing to do anything for them. Our kids may not be able to see that in the midst of our jobs, homeschooling, housework, discipline, etc. They may “know” that we love them, but sometimes just knowing isn’t enough. Often we need to see to believe, so it is important that we, as parents, show our kids that we love them.
It’s easy to say, “I love you”, to your kids, but how do you show them the truth behind those three little words? Many times parents think that showing their love for their kids involves expensive vacations and toys, dinners out on the town, sleepovers with friends,etc. While these may be things that your kids (and maybe you) enjoy, they don’t show your kids that you truly love them.
There are two things that are key to showing your love to your kids. You. and. Time.
In order to show your kids that you love them, you must be willing to give of yourself, by giving them time with you. It doesn’t cost a dime to show your kids how much you love them. The question is, will you take the time to show your kids that you love them?
Taking time to show your kids that you love them is an important part of parenting and it should be done frequently.
Spend Time with Your Kids
All too often parents get lost in everything that they have to get done every day, so it is best if we set up a weekly or monthly schedule for spending quality time with our kids. There are many ways to spend time with our kids without leaving our home or spending more than a few dollars, below are just a few ideas to get started!
- Movie nights are a lot of fun! Pop some popcorn, choose a movie together (or surprise them with one from Netflix or Redbox), and enjoy the snuggles and laughs!
- Game nights can provide a fun and often learning experience for you and your child! Take turns picking games that you both enjoy and throw in a couple that you’ve never played together too!
- Craft or Lego® nights allow you to be creative together while having quality conversation and more with your kids!
Listen to Your Kids
Another important way to show our kids that you love them is to listen to them. As parents we can’t expect our children to truly listen to us if we aren’t listening to our children as well. We need to ensure that we take time to listen to what our kids are saying, listening is one of the best ways to strengthen and deepen our relationship with our kids!
We need to make sure that we are looking at them when they are talking to us, kids will stop talking when they can tell we aren’t actually listening to what they have to say. Below you’ll find a few simple ways to consistently take time to listen to what our kids have to say.
- Get them up to bed 30 minutes before lights out and spend time cuddling and talking with them about their day. Be ready to just listen, you never know when they will just open up!
- Some kids may have a hard time talking period or about certain topics, correspondence notebooks are a great way to encourage your kids to “talk” to you.
- After dinner don’t rush off from the dinner table, the dishes will wait, I promise. Enjoy listening to your kids tell you about their day, a new game or book and anything else that may come to their minds.
Talk to Your Kids
Notice that listening to your kids came before talking to them. In order for our kids to truly listen to what we have to say, we have to know what they are thinking and listen to what they are saying. Parents often think that their kids don’t listen, but if we listen to them, more often than not we’ll either hear them repeating what we say or agreeing with it. An important point to remember is that talking to our kids shouldn’t always be to discipline or instruct, we need to take steps to build quality conversation and relationships with our kids.
- Sit down with a cup of hot tea or coffee and just listen to what your kids have to say. Somehow sitting down and enjoying a hot beverage with our kids opens them up and we can have great conversations with them!
- Cook together! Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way to create both memories and conversation with our kids!
- Take a walk (or a hike if you are adventurous!) Getting out away from electronics and into nature is freeing for parents and for kids
I encourage you to make it a goal to truly show your kids that you love them this year by spending quality time with them! Remember, it is not about the money you spend on them, but the time you spend with them!
How do you show your kids that you love them?