When it comes to letting children know you love them, you can never go wrong with showing it through action. The more specific expressions you use, the better. Concrete examples help children understand what the experience is all about.
Author and speaker Zig Ziglar once said “Children spell ‘love’ as T-I-M-E.” There’s no question that time is of the essence. Spending quality time with children can help develop trust. But what exactly do you do with that time?
Here are four simple ways that you can ensure your children know how much they mean to you.
T- Tell them what they are doing right.
Your children are a work in progress. everyday, they are trying to make sense of the world around them. As part of your quality time together, allow them to hear compliments from you. Recognize them for their contribution to the family, to their school, and to their friends. The more they hear about what they are doing right, the more likely they will feel motivated to keep going. More importantly, they will know that you are interested in who they are.
I- Involve them in decision-making processes that affect them.
As your children grow, they will begin to form their own ideas. Welcome those ideas. Embrace their suggestions. Don’t be afraid that this method will undermine your authority as a parent. You are giving them a safe space to talk about how they feel.
M- Make amends as often as possible.
Be willing to start fresh. Give your children a chance to improve. Remember that they will make mistakes. But that should not be a reason for you to disconnect, no matter what the circumstances are. You will not always agree on everything but all things can be forgiven. This will lead to a stronger bond.
E- Engage in meaningful conversations.
The word engage in this case can be empowering. It means that your children have your full attention. Not only that, as much as you are listening you are also discussing with them. You provide your feedback when asked. In return, they are open to your questions. Once in a while, let them choose the topic of conversation. Learn about the things that are relevant to them and share your interests as well.
These are practical tools you can begin to apply in your own homes today! When you take action, the time you spend with your children will never go unnoticed. Quite the opposite, they will treasure these memories. More importantly, this will be a great reminder of what love can bring into their lives.
About the author: Joy Acaso is our own Parenting Coach at Nightwatch Childcare Center. She has over 17 years of experience in the mental health field. She is available to answer your questions and provide resources that can help your family thrive.