How to Say I Love You to Your Child: It’s Not What You Think!
I love you. We hear those three words often, and use them a lot. Some families use the phrase freely, and other families use it sparingly. Some families save those three precious words for special occasions, while others sprinkle the words like confetti!
When we tell a child we love them, they understand that the word love is a descriptive word that describes how we feel and care for someone. A child can receive and return those words understanding the overall meaning and even comprehending the idea that it exists in a relationship between people! As a child grows, the understanding of love deepens and grows.
BUT, If you want to truly make a connection with your child, there is a special way to connect with them other than saying “I love you.” “I love you” needs to be used in a less general way and instead, used more specifically. “I really love your laugh and how contagious it is,” is a great way to tell a child you love them. “I miss your brown eyes when you’re at school and I don’t see you.” “Your hugs are the best, and when you give me a hug, I realize how lucky I am and how much I love you.” Using specific characteristics or actions that you notice in your child makes your words specific to them, thereby transferring and communicating not only your love for them but WHAT exactly you love about them.
“Your smile was missed at dinner tonight.”
“Can we make more time to read out loud together? Your voice makes me happy.”
“The way you include others reminds me to include others, too. I love that about you!”
As a parent, there is no argument that we want our children to know just how loved they are. And communicating in this powerful way leaves little room for error. This kind of communication with your child is so specific, there is no question who you are talking about or what it is you love about them. While “I love you” is powerful alone, adding the specific reason is personal. And it adds a level that goes straight to the heart and soul of your child, leaving no doubt of the love you have for them.
Sending your child off or receiving them with this kind of I love you communication will create a deeper bond, a more confident child, and a connection for life.
About the Author
Stacey Brown Lopez is an Emotional and Behavioral Coach who coaches moms through emotional and behavioral moments and challenges with their children. Stacey is a native of South Louisiana and resided in the Pacific Northwest for many years where she began her career as a curriculum developer specializing in ages and stages of development. She is a trained mediator and conflict resolution specialist, as well as a certified life coach. Stacey found her way back home to Louisiana after many years. She is happily married, mom to two grown children, stepmom to three children, and two spoiled pups!