Since February is the Love Month (or so I've heard from hopeless romantics), I figured I'd share a few ways to show love to those ankle biters who keep calling you "Mom".
1. Begin by learning their love language(s). If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this book (or this one if you have older kiddos).
2. Whenever possible, make eye contact with your child when they talk to you, and likewise when you are talking to them.
3. Hug often.
4. Google "obscure holidays" and every month pick one (or more!) to celebrate.*
5. Watch home videos together. **
6. Get silly. Play ridiculous games together.
7. Climb in the fort with them.
8. Have family meetings and include their thoughts and opinions. Better yet, let them lead the meeting now and then.
9. Go camping, even if it's only in the backyard.
10. Learn a new skill together.
11. Sometimes it's best to leave the dishes in the sink and have a good snuggle instead.
12. Read a book under the covers with them.
13. Genuinely apologize when you've wronged them.
14. Listen wholeheartedly.
15. Pray for each other.
16. Surprise them with individual time with you (even if it's nothing more than staying up 10 minutes later than the rest of the kids).
17. Make up a story with the two of you as the main characters. ***
18. You initiate play, instead of waiting for them to seek you out.
19. Laugh often and with abandon.
20. Affirm their value in the family.
21. Ask permission to relay anecdotal stories about them to your friends/relatives.
22. Be vulnerable. It's OK if our children see our imperfections (keeping in mind age-appropriateness).
23. Don't share behavioral woes with any more people than necessary, and definitely not when your child might hear you.
24. Read to them (even if they can read independently).
25. Be trustworthy.
26. Just because they are young does not mean we are excused from respecting them.
27. Educate yourself on their interests; Learn the names of their favorite book characters, play their favorite Wii game with them, know their favorite band, etc.
28. In short, love deeply.
Give It A Go,
*Does it get better than celebrating National Ice-Cream Sundae Day? Didn't think so.
**If you don't have any, get crackin'.
***Bonus points for illustrations.