Have you thought recently about how you have shown your child love today? You may be like me and think I show my child love every day. But do we? Do we get so wrapped up in our lives that we forget these tiny people need a reminder once in a while about how much we love them?
Showing your children love is almost an instinct to most parents. But maybe the kids are not biologically yours, maybe they are step kids, foster kids, or adopted kids. Whatever the relationship is you know you love them. But maybe they are not feeling loved all the time. Maybe they need a little extra something to give them that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
Showing our children love doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. From a simple hug to taking them to the park or just saying the words “I love you” can be easy and effective ways to show your child love today.
Here are some easy ways to show your child love today:
Play toys with them
One thing that I found to brighten up my kid’s day was to sit down and play with toys with them. You can build blocks, put together a puzzle, put diapers on babies. Just get down on their level and play. Let them make the rules and you just play along.
Give them your full attention
How many times has your child come home and tried to tell you something but you kind of half-listened but didn’t really hear what they said? Far too often if we are being honest.
When they talk to you stop and pay attention. Put your phone down, look them in the eyes and hear what they have to say. Will they say something crazy sometimes? Yep. But sometimes what they are saying is really important to them. Really focus on what they are saying and respond in a meaningful way.
Play pretend with them
This is really close to playing with toys with them. When you play pretend they may want to get some toys involved or maybe not. This is one of my favorite things to do. You get to see where your kid’s minds go while pretending to be something they are not.
Sometimes I pretend to be a monster and chase them around the house. Sometimes they want to play pretend doctor and I have to “mend” their babies or stuffed animals. Whatever they want to pretend just go with the flow. This simple connection will show your love by being on their level and allowing them to get what they want.
Play a board game with them
A while ago my youngest son asked me to play a game with him. I was tired and just wanted to sit and watch some TV. But I knew it was important to him and he wanted to spend time with me. We sat down and played a quick game and had some fun.
It doesn’t have to be an all-day game, but just sit down and find something to engage with them. You never know when they might open up to you in a way that they haven’t before.
Pray with them
I would say it is never too early to pray with your kids. As soon as they are talking sit down and pray with them. Remind them that not only do you love them but there is a God out there that loves them regardless of their actions.
Read a book together
Reading a book to your kids has multiple benefits. Reading to your kids is exposing them to so many words for their vocabulary. It also provides a connection with your child to experience something together and learn together.
Ask them what they want to do and do it
If you have a day off just ask your kids what they want to do. Don’t guide them, don’t give them choices, just ask them what they want to do. They might say something silly or something that isn’t possible.
One time I asked my son and he said he wanted to go to the beach, in the middle of winter. Okay, that didn’t work out. But we compromised and figured out something else to do together. Just remember to keep it fun and spontaneous. And try to let them guide the decision.
Take them to the library
If you are fortunate your local library is a wonderful place to take your kids. Today libraries have playrooms, fish tanks, computers, and all sorts of entertainment options. But best of all they have books, and even better is the kids can take those books home.
My kids always want to read books so being able to go get some new books to read is always a treat. Just don’t forget to return your books.
Go for a walk
My kids always enjoy going for a walk. It can be just down our road and back or even walking around our local park. To take it even further I take my son hiking and he loves that. We are lucky and have lots of hiking trails nearby that we can hit any time of the year.
Walking is not only an easy way to show your child love but it is also a really healthy activity for you and your family.
Give them an age-appropriate chore
Your older kids might not enjoy this tip but for the younger ones they eat this up. Just the other day my wife was putting together a shelf. Our little one wanted to help so bad. Finally, my wife gave her a duster and told her to keep it clean while she put it together. You couldn’t imagine how happy she was.
Dusting, sweeping, maybe even helping cook. These are all things that little ones want to be a part of. They don’t understand yet that these are endless tasks and most people don’t enjoy them. They just care that they are involved and can help you out. So let them help you!
Hang up artwork they brought home
Do you have a wall where you hang all the artwork your little ones bring home? If not you should. Nothing brings more smiles in our house when the little ones bring home some art they made and can’t wait to show it to us.
Daddy, I drew you today!
Mommy, this is a picture of you!
Look I drew a picture of bubby!
Every time I look at them and smile because even though you can’t see it, they can. In their little minds they did everything they can to make a picture of you and how it comes out is pretty amazing. Why not hang them up so they can see it every time they walk by that spot?
Tell them “I love you”
This may seem like a no-brainer. But have you done it today? I have had some scary moments in my life where I thought I was going to lose my kids. And one of my fears is that my kid will walk out the door and never return and the last thing I said to them wasn’t “I love you”.
Tell them often, tell them when they leave, tell them when they go to bed, tell them when they go play outside. Don’t waste the chance to let them know how much you love them.
Sit and snuggle on the couch
Something about just chilling on the couch with your kiddos and holding on to them and watching TV. Even if maybe I am not watching what they are watching that close connection and snuggling just feels amazing. Maybe this is better for us than the kids but I got to think they like it too.
Doing this and watching a show and engaging with them and the show is a one-of-a-kind experience. Ask them questions about it and see how they respond.
Give them 5 more minutes
You know how you ask your kids to pick up their toys and they give you “Can we please have 5 more minutes?” Well, give it to them. 5 more minutes isn’t going to ruin their bedtime. 5 fewer minutes of sleep really won’t make a difference.
I would say don’t do this all the time. But occasionally surprise them and see how much their eyes light up when you say “ok five more minutes”.
Eat breakfast with them
How is your typical morning? If it is like mine you are trying to get your kids ready and get yourself ready, feed the dog, walk the fish, water the lawn, and everything else. Grabbing something to eat is usually a quick bowl of cereal or maybe nothing at all.
What if you got up a little bit earlier and sat down and started your day off eating breakfast with your family? It is tough to carve out the time without sacrificing sleep, but the joy of spending that quality time to start the day off can set the tone for your day.
Let them pick dinner
Do you eat out a few times a week? Do you always pick where you eat? If you do consider letting them pick one night a week. We usually only eat out once a week and we round-robin it every week. Each person in the family gets to pick on their week.
This one may seem silly because your little ones might choose McDonald’s or Chucky Cheese if given the choice, but it makes them feel loved and involved in the decision-making process. And if you don’t want to eat happy meals you can always “guide” them to more adult choices and explain the pros of eating somewhere that everyone would enjoy.
Take them to the park
Soon the weather will be getting better and it will be prime park season. Going to a park typically costs you nothing. But the joy the kids get from playing at their local park is amazing. My kids have a trampoline and swing sets and toys at home. But none of that matters if I take them to the park to play.
Something about being in a different location makes them light up. And you never know they might meet some new friends at the park.
Ask them a question
This is more for older kids but it is quite effective. Older kids can feel like they are on an island. They get independent and do things on their own but deep down they want to be close to us. They try to act hard and act like they don’t need dad (or mom) anymore. But they crave connection.
Ask them a question. Ask them something specific. Not “How was your day?”. Ask them how did that assignment go in your class today? Ask them how many friends did they make smile today? You know your kids and you know what they are into. Find something relatable and make that connection.
Be silly with them
Now you don’t have to record yourself and try to be the next big TikTok star, but being silly with your kid shows them that you are not the stern boring role model. Show them you can be fun once in a while and make them laugh.
Tell them some silly dad jokes or have a tickle fight or just make silly faces. Do anything to spark some joy and laughter. And this is a great tip to use when your kid is feeling down or just acting like they are bored.
Showing your child love today can be quick and easy. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming (but it can be), it just needs to be genuine. If you feel disconnected from your kids or you feel like work or life is getting in the way try one of the above things.
Our children need our love and honestly, there are times we need their love a whole lot more than they need ours. Remember we were once children too who craved that connection with our parents and now it’s time to return that connection and love our kids.
Is there a special way that you show your kids love? If you have a unique way to show your child love drop us a comment or let us know on our Facebook page.