You’ve probably heard of the five love languages, but did you know your kids need a little of all of them? When they are hurting or upset, they will probably have one or two they prefer. The rest of the time, they need you to give them some of all five.
There’s a fun way to shower your kids with words of affirmation. While it would seem that “words of affirmation” is one of the easier ways to express love, if you aren’t careful, it can backfire. To make this activity fun, you will need lots of hearts on which you can write words. For each child, create as many hearts as you can with words of affirmation for that child.
As you create your hearts, there are some important things to remember.
- Make them personal. If each child gets hearts with the exact same words on them, it won’t feel genuine. And yes, at some point they will compare.
- Make them specific. “I love it when you laugh at my silly dad jokes” is more meaningful than “You have a nice laugh.”
- Make them uplifting, not passive aggressive. “I love it when you brush your teeth” when it has been an ongoing struggle does not feel loving, it feels like another frustrated reminder.
- Be honest. Don’t say “I love spending time with you” when most of the time you aren’t around and they have to jump up and down to get any attention from you at all. Don’t say “I love how sweet you are to your little sister” when they’ve heard you tell your friends multiple times how mean you think they are to her. Kids have a very strong understanding of honesty. Don’t try to be less than honest with them.
- Make them mushy. They will moan and grown, but secretly they will treasure that you wrote that her smile when she sees you after school makes your day better. This is a great way to say all of those things to older kids that they never let you finish saying.
- Make it fun. Have them taped to their door one morning when they wake up or put the cereal in a baggie and fill the empty box with your hearts, so when they pour their cereal the hearts fill their bowl. Have fun with it. Don’t feel like you have to wait for Valentine’s Day or their birthdays. If you rotate kids, make sure they all get a turn and each child gets about the same number and quality of hearts when it is his or her turn.
Showering your kids periodically with words of affirmation can help them understand how much you really do love them. And that can make it easier for them to build strong spiritual foundations and reach their godly potential.