The first time your child says, “I love you!” is a milestone a parent treasures. But your child only said it because they learned it from you. “I love you,” are three simple words that express such a wide multitude of feelings. Hearing these words is essential for children and adults as well. Love gives life meaning and provides fulfillment and joy.
Children who feel loved are more likely to have high self-esteem, excel academically, and have healthier relationships. They are more likely to grow up to be successful happy adults who know how to love. When children do not feel love within their family they often suffer from low self-esteem. They may search for love by joining a gang, being involved in unhealthy relationships, or having a child while a teenager. Unloved children suffer from a greater amount of mental, emotional, and physical problems.
Knowing how important saying, “I love you,” is I developed unique ways to say, “I love you,” with each one of my children.
· With my son I began playing a little game with him when he was two. I would hold my hands about 6 inches apart and say “I only love you this much.” Then my son would say, “No!” So I’d hold my hands a little further apart and we’d repeat the process until my arms were stretched as wide as they could. Then my son would shout, “Yes, for all the days.” My son is now six and he still enjoys playing the game.
· My second daughter had a hard time speaking, but she could say, “Love you.” I would say, “Love you,” and she would repeat it. Then I would change my voice and say, “Love you.” She would change her voice and repeat it. We would do this five or six times before we’d dissolve into giggles.
· My youngest daughter is only two and she loves to rub noses with me. She’ll grab my face in her hands and rub her nose against mine.
As a parent there are other ways you can let your child know you love them besides just saying it:
· Listening to your child when they talk and not judge them.
· Showing proper physical affection: hugs, pats, or even high-fives.
· Being involved in your child’s education.
· Knowing your child’s friends.
· Doing things with your child.
· Developing family traditions.
· Taking family vacations.
· Eating dinner together.
· Being sympathetic when they express concerns.
However you let your child know they are loved is great, but it is also important to say it. Because you might think your child knows you love them, but unless you actually say, “I love you”, they might not.