I’m sure most parents would agree that expressing how much we love our children is of utmost importance. Letting them know that we value them and love them undoubtedly gives them a huge sense of identity. But the question perhaps isn’t so much do they know they are loved, but more do they know why they are loved.
I tell my son I love him multiple times a day. I’ll tell him every time he does something which makes me adore him even more, and every night at bedtime. I’ve always wanted him to know beyond any doubt just how much I love him and to be totally secure in his identity and so this is a real value for me. However after recently reading a quote it challenged my thinking about how I express my love for him:
Tell your children what you love about them
– Christine Caine
Wow, I’d never really given this much thought before. I know what I love about him, but does he?
I love it when my husband tells me he loves me, but sometimes it can feel so normal that I almost don’t hear the meaning behind his words. But when he actually tells me what he loves about me, it means so much more.
It instantly makes me feel valued because he is identifying a specific part of who I am that he loves. He’s thought about what he’s saying rather than just saying those three little words.
When I tell Jonas something I love about him, like that fact he’s so much fun to be with, his face lights up with joy, almost as if he is seeing it in himself and valuing that part of who he is.
Telling our children we love them is an important part of parenting, but also making sure we express to them why we love them, that’s powerful. I want my son to grow up not only secure in his identity and value, but also secure in those amazing character traits he has. Knowing why he is loved and loving those parts about himself.
So this is my challenge: to continue letting him know how much I love him, but not stop there. To affirm him with praise and remind him specifically of what his mummy loves. In the hope that he would not only feel totally secure, but also love those things about himself too!
How do your children react when you do this? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.