As a child, I definitely felt loved. I knew Mom loved me every time she braided my hair, and I knew Dad loved me when he patiently helped me with my homework. My parents showed their love but didn’t talk about it. We didn’t hug in my family. There weren’t a lot of kisses. Saying “I love you” was pretty much nonexistent.
I sound a lot like Mom and Dad these days. I catch myself doing the things I said I wouldn’t do. I lecture Simone and Nadia, scold them, pepper their lives with pithy sayings. Those are just some of the ways I show them I love them. I also fill scrapbooks with memories, put little bows and ribbons in their hair, keep them safe.
Unlike my parents, I am very affectionate with my children. I give out hugs daily. Bear hugs, little hugs. There are kisses in the mornings and especially at night. Sloppy kisses, sweet kisses. I throw in an “I love you” from time to time. An upset I love you, a pleased I love you. If nothing else, I want them to know they are loved every second of their lives, when they squeal with delight or cross their arms and pout. I love them no matter what, and I don’t want them to ever think otherwise.
So, what do you say? How do you show and tell your children you love them?