Today I’m so excited to introduce you to Heather from My Overflowing Cup. Heather and I are relatively new blogging friends but our friendship has progressed quickly, as I love spending time over at her blog. Heather shares wonderful posts about her faith, fabulous recipes, and assorted tips about frugal living.
Without further ado, I’m handing things over to Heather so she can share 5 Ways To Show Your Children You Love Them.
As parents, we all want our children to know that we love them. Here are my top 5 tips on how to do just that.
1. Listen to them
Look them in the eye as they speak to you. If they are little, get down on their level. Very often, my kids come to chat with me when I am busy at a task. Sometimes I remember to stop my busy hands, look up from what I am doing, and make eye contact with them. It is important that we take the time to show our children respect in this way. This is an area I need to personally work on because I want my children to know that what they say has value.
2. Spend time with them
There is an expression that says that love is spelled T-I-M-E. In this day and age of constant busyness, time has become as valuable as money. If you offered your kids money or the opportunity to spend time with you, most of them would choose your time. Often it is easier to give someone the gift of money than the gift of your time. Our children are no exception. We need to remember that they won’t always crave spending time with us the way they do when they are young. If they still happen to when they are older, they may not have the time.
Here are some of our family’s favorite ways to spend time together:
- We play Mad-Libs when we are traveling in the car
- Even though they are teenagers, my kids still enjoy climbing into my bed for read-alouds before bedtime
- Family walks/hikes
- Board games
Remember to include spontaneous fun! Break out of routine & do something extra special once in a while. Try surprising them if possible.
3. Encourage them
Unfortunately, parenting involves a lot of instruction, correction, and discipline. We spend so much time focusing on the negative because we are teaching our children how to become responsible adults, but we need to remember to praise them for what they do well. I often remind my children that for every 1 thing they get corrected about, there are 100 things I am proud of them for.
Along the same lines, and more importantly, remind them of who they are in the Lord. One look at the suicide rates among young people is enough to remind us of the importance knowing who we are in Christ. Tell them that you love them and that they are a blessing in your life. I often ask my children, “Do you know how I know God loves me?” They try not to smile, pretend to roll their eyes, and say, “Because He gave you me.” A little encouragement goes a long way!
4. Teach them
Continuing the idea above, teach them who they are in Christ. As it has been said, “If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” Read Scripture to them so that they can learn who the God that created them is. Tell them that they were created for a purpose, that God has a plan for their lives, and that they are deeply loved, by you and by Him. Talk with them about the things that are important to them.
We also need to remember the expression, “more is caught than taught.” We need to teach them how to live by living the characteristics we wish to encourage in them. We need to teach them by example. And when we fail, we need to admit it to them knowing that they will learn from our mistakes and weaknesses. How they see us handle these shortcomings teaches them valuable lessons.
5. Pray with them and for them
This is my most important tip, not only because it incorporates all of the above in some way, but because we are teaching our children one of the most important aspects of our Christian lives. When we stop and pray with our children about what is happening in the world around us, in our own lives, and in the lives of the people we care about, we are teaching them something that we hope they will carry into their adult lives. When we pray for them, we are asking God for His wisdom, His protection, and His will for our children’s lives.
I can’t think of anything more precious to give to our children than the gift of praying over their lives! What do you think? How do you show your children that you love them?
Heather is a follower of Jesus Christ, devoted wife of over 21 years to her high school sweetheart, and homeschooling mother of their two teenage boys.
She can be found blogging about faith, food, and frugality at www.myoverflowingcup.com