I love my three girls so much it hurts. Some days I walk around bursting with the love I have for them. It’s a physical condition, loving my children, one that fills me with wonder and leaves me in awe of the infinite capacity of the heart. These are the days I wear my love on my sleeve where the girls can plainly see and feel it. I laugh and joke around. I ask for a full report of the day and listen closely as they go into detail. I bake cookies just because.
Other days, I’m depleted. Maybe everyone woke up late for school, and we never fully caught up with the day. Maybe the dog vomited all over the living room rug. Or maybe I simply need to recharge and haven’t had a chance. This is when I’m on autopilot, dragging my butt through the day and counting down the minutes until bedtime. I’m not paying attention to my kids as much. I’m not being mean, but I’m not actively lovin’ all over them either. While my actual love for my kids doesn’t change, the level at which I’m outwardly expressing it sometimes does.
Here’s the thing: While we know we love our kids unconditionally and always, unless we show them how we feel, they don’t necessarily experience that love. Every kid receives love differently — one might respond more to words and another to physical affection, for example. It’s our job to learn what they need and give them all we can, whenever we can.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or monumental. It’s the little things, truly.
1. Say the words.
Can you ever tell your child you love them too many times? Nah. If your kid is in the “you’re embarrassing me” stage, you can always set up a code. We sometimes just say “1-4-3.” I’ll let you figure that one out.
2. Show your affection.
At a loss for words? Show your kids you love them with a hug or arm around the shoulder. Ruffle their hair, give them a kiss, or my favorite, hold hands. Even a high-five or fist bump works. A physical connection that reminds them you care.
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