Five Simple Things to Do Today (and Every Day) to Show Love for Your Children
- Put down the devices! If you are eating a meal together, leave all electronics off the table. If you are watching your child play soccer, resist the urge to look at your phone. While looking at your phone, you may not miss the play of the year, but your child may see your distraction and receive the message that your phone is more important than watching him/her play.
- Say “Thank you”. Even if you had to ask/tell your child 100 times to clean his/her room, do chores, etc., when it is done, say, “Thank you.” Everyone wants to be appreciated, especially for completing undesirable tasks. Don’t worry – saying “thank you” for something that is expected and necessary does not undermine the fact that it is expected.
- Say, “I love you.” Yes, it is important to show love. But it is also important to say it. I have evaluated over 2,000 adults in my private practice. One of my interview questions is to ask adults how their parents showed their love, and if they ever said it. I am struck by the sadness in the adults’ voices who never heard a parent say it. These adults may have been shown it, but they wanted their parents to say it. These adults in turn have a more difficult time saying, “I love you” to their own children, who also need to hear it. So say it in the morning, say it sending your child off to school, say it at bedtime.
- Sneak a love note in your child’s lunch or school folder. Or leave it on your child’s pillow. Yep, even for your teenager. Especially your teenager.
- Spend some time alone together, just you and your child, even if it just for five minutes. Remove all distractions, and really pay attention to what your child is saying. Or not saying. Just BE together, in the absence of laundry, siblings, homework, devices. Sit together in quiet stillness, or pick a topic and talk about it. Just BE together and connect. For great conversation starters, check out http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HJ7SGS?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00