“I love you.” Everybody from sociologists to pastors to grandparents tell us that these are the three most powerful words in human language. Yet, sadly, there are many children who grow up and never even hear these words spoken, much less displayed, by those who should show and say it the most – their parents.
Now, I am not naturally what would be considered to be a “soft” or “sensitive” person. I don’t cry at the drop of a hat. I don’t normally get “misty” in the sentimental parts of movies. I don’t really care for “tear-jerker” books or stories. I know, this fact may not go over well with some of my female readers, but it is simply the truth. I am not interested in, and don’t really plan on, getting in touch with my “feminine side.”
However, I have noticed that ever since the birth of our first child, Laura Kate, I naturally, normally and willingly desire to hug and kiss and tell my children how much I love them. You see, even though I may not be overly “soft” or “sentimental,” I have come to realize that my little girl and boys need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their daddy loves them. And, I’m learning that I need to say and show it more and more every day.
So, let me share with you “Twenty Ways To Tell Your Child You Love Them.” Of course, some of these will be expressed through the words that you say and others will be displayed by the things that you do. No matter how it is expressed, I just can’t say in strong enough terms how desperately your children need to see, hear and know that you love them with an unconditional love.
1. Say “I love you” every chance you get.
2. Make, and keep, a promise of unconditional love.
3. Come up with, and call your children, by loving nicknames.
4. Have a special place for special memories with your child.
5. Give lots of hugs and tons of kisses.
6. Surprise your children with notes of love and encouragement.
7. Make time for play time.
8. Display pictures of your child prominently and frequently.
9. Share with your children things that have a family significance.
10. Pray for and with your child.
11. Kneel down or pick them up and look them in the eye.
12. Take them on a “date.”
13. Read to them and with them.
14. Make things together.
15. Set rules and be consistent in their enforcement.
16. Learn to really listen to your child.
17. Praise them often.
18. Remember love is really spelled T.I.M.E.
19. Earn and deserve their trust.
20. Live a life that imitates and points them to Jesus.
The safest, most nurturing and loving place on the planet for children ought to be at home with their mom and dad. There should never be any doubt in your child’s mind they you love them. They need to hear it repeated and experience it daily.
Last week I was in my recliner watching the news when my little girl came over and said, “Daddy, I want to sit in your lap.” She knows she can say that whenever she wants to. I’ve told her since she was just a baby that no matter when or where, while she’s a little girl or even when she’s an adult, if she wants to sit in her daddy’s lap and snuggle all she has to do is ask.
So, what did I do? I pulled my little girl up in my lap and began to hug her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her. And guess what? It was a whole lot better than watching the news. So, with that, I’m going to go find a little girl and a couple of rowdy boys to hug and kiss before they go to bed.