I’ve been reflecting lately on the relationship that I have with each of my children. The Ant Bug is old enough that the memories we are making now are likely memories that she will hold onto the rest of her life. Is the positive outweighing the negative? Hopefully, but some days I’m not so sure!
The countdown to the arrival of baby #3 is starting to loom a little closer (8 more weeks, give or take!). I know to expect some upheaval with the arrival of our son, but I’m hoping that I can alleviate some of the strain if I’m intentional about fostering a positive relationship with each child.
So I have been thrilled to find so many people blogging about ways to show love to others. Valentine’s Day is certainly not the only day to show our love to those we care about, but the holiday can give our loving thoughts and actions a jump start that will hopefully inspire us throughout the year.
The Mother Huddle shared a great list: 40 Ways to Show Your Child Love. The list was so great that I had to include it here.
1. Take them to a movie they want to see.
2. Go on a treasure hunt (collect all the loose change around the house/car) together and then make a trip to the arcade with your findings.
3. Take a long nature walk together, at their pace. Let them lead the conversation.
4. Find qualities about them that you genuinely love, and compliment them in front of others.
5. Frame a photo of the two of you, and display it in their room.
6. Put a few Hershey’s Hugs in one of their coat pockets, and Kisses in the other.
7. Play a game with them.
8. Let them win.
9. Make bath time special. Add lots of bubbles, colored soaps, maybe you could purchase a new tub toy or let them play with things found around the house. I let my kids play with things like colanders and funnels from the kitchen—they love it. Don’t forget to warm the towel!
10. Send them a handmade card in the mail with a coupon to go get ice cream with you.
11. Gather all the home movies that feature them as the “star” and have a movie night complete with popcorn and treats.
12. Using blankets and chairs, or a card table, build a clubhouse together and have a picnic inside.
13. Read “I love you” books together.
14. Let them stay up past their bedtime with you and watch cartoon classics together.
15. Do a chore that is normally reserved for them.
16. Tuck an encouraging note inside their lunchbox.
17. Give them your full attention.
18. Tell them some of the ways they make you happy.
19. Make them laugh.
20. Laugh with them.
21. Make their favorite treat to welcome them home from school with.
22. Show them your joy when they arrive.
23. Ask for hugs and kisses.
24. Listen, and let them make their own decisions whenever possible.
25. Make them a coupon book filled with things they’d enjoy doing, or things they’d like to get out of doing.
26. Take a day off from everything: work, household duties, technology, etc. and focus entirely on them.
27. Cook together.
28. Write them a poem using the initials of their name.
29. Decorate their room for no reason.
30. Create a sign that lavishes them with praise.
31. Kidnap them from school and take them out for lunch.
32. Make home a fun place to be.
33. Make a treasure box from an old shoe box, fill it with “gold” (chocolate coins) and make an official looking treasure map with clues for them to locate the hidden treasure with.
34. Go to the store and let them pick out all the ingredients to make banana splits. Make and eat them together.
35. Wrap up in a warm blanket together and take turns making up stories to tell each other.
36. Make a list of things you love about them and put it on their pillow before bedtime.
37. Talk about what they did in their day at dinnertime.
38. Sit down together and write a list of fun activities to do in a day. Write each idea on small slips of paper, roll up the papers and stick them inside balloons. Blow up all the balloons and then pop one balloon at a time until you’ve completed all the activities.
39. Play back rub/tickle games—ie; Spider crawling up you back…
40. Make a CD with all their favorite tunes and have a dance party.
In case 40 is a little too much for you, last year I posted 14 Ways To Show Love For Your Child.
Lots of fun ideas, and most are pretty simple. It just takes a little thought and planning on our part!
I also really liked the idea shared on Feels Like Home of Valentine’s Love Notes for Kids. I have to admit that I wouldn’t spend the effort of handcrafting personal envelopes for each note. But I am thinking I will be reusing the many hearts that are currently decorating our home for special secret love messages in the upcoming weeks.
A simple love ritual we have in our house has to do with sneezes. Read more about it here.