This is more of a "Let's Do It!" post! As a mom, I know that I feel love for my children and I show them love everyday in all the time I spend cooking, cleaning up after them, wiping their noses etc.. I'm pretty good at saying "I love you" all the time. Oh, and kissing. My children are kissed. Much. But other than that, it is easy to become very complacent in truly expressing love to my children in ways that convinces them beyond a shadow of a doubt that they truly are LOVED!!!
One great place for starting out is to try and pin point different areas that really communicate love to each of your children. I'm sure most of you have heard of "The Five Love Languages" by now, but if not, check it out. It was a really mind opening thing to me to see how differently we all feel loved. Here is a handy little test you can try on your kids. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/personal-profiles/children/
Here's an example~ I can hug and kiss Lydia all day long, but when I write her a note of encouragement, she comes ALIVE. You just watch her face light up. With Bethany, you can tell her how wonderful she is until you're blue in the face, but take the time to actually DO something with her and her whole world changes.
Make sure you take the time to get to know your children and how they best receive love. It's not always super straight forward, and sometimes it feels like it's changing daily. But when you hit it on the head it feels so good that your love is being communicated effectively!
There are sooooo many ways to express love to our children! A new thing in our home has come with Lydia and Bethany learning how to read. They now have their own "mailboxes" (empty desk drawers) where we can all leave notes of encouragement for them. They LOVE this! Find special ways to spend time with them. Come up with little presents (which also provide great lessons in thankfulness). Play the "Who loves _____?" where everyone claps wildly for the named person. Make a point to express love daily, through simple or extravagant means.
This morning I tried a little experiment with my older girls just to get to know them better. We all sat at the table with paper and I gave them different scenarios like, "My favorite part of the day is...", "When Mommy is angry I...", Mommy makes me feel loved when..." and things like that. It was precious and sobering to see their answers.
Our children are little people, on the road to being young adults. We are the only mothers they have (That's thought that still makes me shiver!) and that is such a influential and irreplaceable role! What a privilege. So let's do it! Let's take the time to show them our love.