Love your Kids Well
We all want to love our kids well, but do you ever feel like you are falling short in really making them feel loved well? I mean, I bet our parents thought they were loving us well even when they totally missed the mark.
This time of year everyone is gearing up for a day of over-commercialized lovey-doveyness. So why not spend it focusing on real love? It is a PERFECT time to learn about the true, agape love of God and how we can show this love to others (including our spouses! Even if we used the over-commercialized goodies to accomplish this 😉 )
Often times, I feel like loving my husband is so much simpler than loving my children. He can tell me what he needs and articulate it in a loving way, whereas children sometimes don’t know what they need. They don’t know that they are misbehaving just because they need you to notice and acknowledge them. They don’t know that they are having anger issues because they haven’t gotten enough time in with Daddy; so it takes some thoughtfulness, and much reflection and prayer to love your children the way they need you to.
Here are 7 things I have done that seem to make my children FEEL loved and secure in my love.
1) Ask Them
This one is simple enough, but it took the Lord speaking to me for me to really get it. ASK THEM HOW THEY FEEL LOVED. Duh, Tiffany 😉 You can gain so much insight from this one simple question. Say “What do I do that makes you feel loved?” before bedtime as you are tucking them in, or at the dinner table where everyone can discuss it so no one feels silly discussing it. Listen to what they say and implement it. The results will surprise you!
2) Date Them
This one takes a bit more planning, but the effects it will have on your relationship are so worth it. Set up a special time to take each of your children out on a date on a regular basis. The one-on-one time allows you to really focus your attention on them. You can learn more about who they are growing into and create sweet memories on the way. You can get dressed up and go out for a special dinner, or just go outside to eat a popsicle together. Anything you both will enjoy doing together is perfect!
3) One-on-one time
Getting one-on-one time with mommy or daddy makes everything better in my kiddoes world. They need your undivided attention every now and then to feel special, important and loved. If you are running to the store for a quick trip, take one child with you. Need to run a letter to the post office while Dad is home? Take a child with you! This is easy to work into your daily routines and schedules too. Alternate which child gets to be your helper to make dinner each night. Use that time to give your child the attention they need.
4) Teach them God’s word
This is the most important thing you will EVER teach them. When the world screams over and over that true love is a feeling that comes and goes, they will need to know what real love is. And who real love is. Spend your time reading it to them. Tell them the stories. Let them ask questions, and memorize its words together. Hiding His words in their little hearts is such an important task. Introduce them to the only One who can love them perfectly and without flaw.
Raising a strong-willed child? Read: A Letter to my Strong-Willed Daughter HERE!
5) Learn their love language
Do you know that everyone has a language through which they feel loved the most? Gary Chapman’s book the 5 Love Languages is a MUST READ if this is news to you. I spent many years of my life feeling like one of my parents didn’t love me at all, when in reality they have a love language that is far different than mine. Knowing this changed how I look at this parent and at my childhood. Now I regularly assess each of my kiddoes for which love language they are prone too. Love languages can be spoken through gifts, service acts, words, time together, and touch. Loving your child how they are created to feel loved is life changing!
6) Spend time letting them choose
How often do your children get to choose whatever they would like to do with you involved? Often times we mamas have LOTS to get done. I love to play with my kiddoes, but if the laundry is piled or the dishes are dirty, I will usually be working and NOT playing. If you plan it in advance, you can set aside a time to just let them choose what you do with them. Maybe they would love to have a family game night or would like to kick the soccer ball around in the yard. Maybe they have been wanting you to build legos with them for as long as they can remember, but something else always gets in the way. Make some time to let them choose what you will spend time with them doing!
7) Tell them
Make sure you are telling them regularly that you love them. Try to tell them in different ways too. For example: “I am so very proud of you!” “I am so glad you are my son.” “I am so thankful God made me your mama.” “I love that you are my daughter.” “These are the things I admire about you the most: …” then list the character traits you are so proud of. Telling them how much you love them is so important!!
We are forgetful beings, and God is so faithful to remind us of His love often and in ways that speak specifically to our hearts. We too can learn to love our children well!
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