Recently I had the chance to talk to my sweet niece about what demonstrates love to her. I asked her, “what could I do that would make you feel loved?” Her answer was “ummm, I’d like to just go get a burger.”
I told her, “I can do that.”
Loving our children doesn’t have to be difficult. They just want to know we care and we are there for them. Sometimes it is just a burger. Sometimes a hug or a note makes them feel loved.
The Bible says, in Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
I have asked my children at different times in life what makes them feel loved. And almost always it is the same thing. It might vary based on their age. But the premise is almost always the same.
If someone asked you what makes you feel loved, how would you answer? Think about the last time you really felt loved.
What occurred? Were you told something that made you feel happy or good? Were you given a gift of some kind?
Gary Chapman in his book, The 5 Love Languages tells his readers that people generally feel most loved in one or two of five ways –words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time and physical touch.
Each child is different. One may need words of affirmation, another quality time or even a combination of both. So how do you know what your child needs from you? Pay attention to them and ask them what makes them feel loved. Ask them what you can do that will make them feel loved?
Here are some suggestions:
For younger children
1. Make a bubble bath and put all their tub toys in the bath.
2. Read them a story and rock them to sleep.
3. Take them to the library or a book store. Check out a couple books of their choosing, or buy a book of their choosing.
4. Make hot chocolate and watch cartoons.
5. Bake together.
6. Surprise them with a popcorn party and a movie.
7. Go to the park and have a picnic.
8. Color a picture with them or finger paint with them.
For older children
1. Have a date night
2. Take them to dinner or breakfast.
3. Surprise them with a new t-shirt or a Starbucks after school.
4. Clean their room for them.
5. Write them a note telling them how much you love them and stick it in their lunch or under their pillow.
6. Just hug them and pray with them. Tell them you love them.
7. Make their favorite dinner or snack.
8. Take care of something for them they need to do. (maybe mow the lawn one week or give them the night off from the dishes)
The time with our children is fleeting. Don’t let it slip by without telling them how much you love them today!