With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is definitely in the air. “It’s important for parents and families to know just how important it is to show your child not only what it means to be loved, but how to love,” says Mary Beth Dewitt, PhD, a pediatric psychologist at Dayton Children’s.
We asked our three featured bloggers “how do you show love to your kids?!” Here are their answers… What would you say?
Jessica Saunders- Mommy safety blogger “I tell Mary that she is beautiful and smart and sweet. I hug and kiss her daddy so she knows we love each other too. I let her play with my feet (she laughs), and “eat” my face and run her hands through my hair. And at night…when she is sleeping…sometimes I go into her room and pick her up just to hold her for a few more minutes.”
Dr. Ramey – “Love is less about candy and more about the little things we do every day to stay connected to the special people in our lives. I write an unexpected note to my wife when I leave early for work, send a Luna bar to my musician daughter in New York City before a big audition, drive my junior high daughter to school (even though we live only 3 blocks away), or send a political cartoon to my son when he is on business trips all over the world. These are just simple ways to say how happy I am to be a part of their lives.”
Dr. Mom – “We try to be loving and show love every day, in everything we do. We talk everyday sharing our day, thoughts, feelings. We are affectionate yet believe in discipline. We respect Audrey (and Ethan’s) opinions which is why we are careful which options we offer. Jeff and I know they will learn about relationships from us, so we try to prioritize our marriage. We reunite after work/ school by asking about each others day. Hearing Audrey’s sweet voice say,”Hello mommy, how was your day?” Melts my heart every time. Audrey also sings us the Barney song,” I love you…” And has to act out the part of “great big hug and a kiss from me to you…” It is simply precious!”
Below is a list of several tips that, according to Dr. DeWitt, will help your child feel loved each and every day.
Ten tips on how to help your children feel loved
1. Be involved: Know your child’s strengths and challenges, friends, interests and worries. The best way to learn about these is to have regular ongoing conversations with them about their daily activities and experiences.
2. Be together: Have evening meals with your family; this is a great time for conversation! You can also plan a family movie night, game night or a family outing once or twice a month to encourage the importance of being together.
3. Be engaged: Play with your kids! Let them pick a game or activity .This shows them that you are interested in their hobbies and may open the door for further conversation.
4.Praise them: Never miss out an opportunity to show how proud you are of them or what a great job they did; celebrate success! Don’t forget to reward simple things such as thanking them for picking up their shoes without having to be reminded, etc.
5. Support them: No one is perfect and not everything will come easily. Let your child know that you care about them for trying and doing their best!
6. Discipline them: Although most children resent discipline and don’t see this as form of love, all children need structure and guidance. A parent’s most important role is to love and teach their children how to be good people, make good choices and to behave properly.
7.Model loving relationships: Be kind to others; involve your children in acts of kindness. Actions speak louder than words!
8. Tell them: Don’t forget just how powerful the words I love you are.
9. Send a note: Remind your kids just how much they truly mean to you. Stick a note inside their lunch box or book bag telling them to have a great day.
10.Read to them: This is a great way to be together in a quiet setting, and have fun.
Remember that you are your child’s biggest influence and by utilizing these tips, you have the power to show your child what true love really is.