5 Ways to Tell Your Children That You Love Them

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Today is a great day for me to reflect on how lucky I am to have two amazing children and a beautiful (expecting!) wolfie-dog in my home. Every day is an adventure and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Recently, things have definitely been a bit strained in our house as we move through the shift of the changing times! Especially amidst the madness of single parenthood, it is so vital to take time out simply appreciate my family. Here are a few ways I love to show it:

Unplug. Turning off the iPhone, stepping away from the computer, and being present with the kids as my first and only priority – it works wonders!

Be silly. Maybe it’s embarrassing to them, but having the courage to be goofy in front of others gives my children permission to express themselves and creates lots of memories to laugh about later.

Love notes. Taking the three extra seconds to draw a funny face on my daughter’s sandwich bag, leave a note in my son’s lunchbox, or tape a sign to the TV or bathroom mirror always adds a little extra smile for the recipient :)

Change the routine. Sometimes spontaneously deciding to go out to eat, have breakfast for dinner, or go the park for a picnic will shake up the routine and add a new perspective. Letting the kids have a turn to choose is even better!

Tell them. Sounds easy, right? How often we forget to ‘catch our kids being good’ and tell them what you LOVE about their behavior, viewpoints, or appearance. The next time you want to nag about what they forgot to do, try noticing what they remembered and see the ripple effect!

How do you express your love to your kiddos? Feel free to share your unique ideas on our Facebook page!

Mommy’s Love Donation

I always do my best to provide a positive, supportive and loving environment for my children. If you’ve read anything I’ve posted over the Social Web you know that I celebrate them as often as possible. Yet, at times, their self-image suffers.

My son is especially verbal about it. If I ask him to stop touching something in a store, or stop screaming in the living room, he immediately defaults to a mantra of, “I’m stupid. I’m dumb. I hate myself.” This is usually accompanied by smacking or punching himself in the head.

It kills me to see this.

I know that some of it is the effects of the turbulent trip to single parenting, and much of it is the rest of the world not quite comprehending what Sensory Integration issues he experiences with his Autism. His formative years were certainly laden with getting in trouble for “bad behavior” from teachers, daycare providers, churches, day camps, sports teams, and at times his own immediate family.

I have tried so many responses to this self-deprecating mantras, hoping to “fix” his self-esteem. (Any mother would think she has this power, ha!) From logical reasoning – pointing out his report card grades so he clearly can’t think he’s stupid – to begging him not to think that to good ol’ fashioned Italian-Jewish mom guilt (it really hurts Mommy when you say those things!)… nothing seemed to budge these repetitions. I’ve even desperately threatened mild punishments! But then he would just think it and be afraid to say it, so clearly that isn’t a solution.

We are working on some EFT sessions about this, but in the meantime I had the most profound experience one day with him. I was walking him into school as usual and I asked him to stop lifting the back of my shirt. Out came the usual, “I’m stupid. I hate myself.” Instead of my normal knee-jerk “how many times do we have to go over this” response, magical words escaped my lips!

“Justin, I know you don’t always feel like you love yourself. I’ll tell you what. I’m going to give you some of MY love to keep, because you seem to be running low right now. See, Mommy’s love never runs out and my heart always makes more, so it’s ok if I give you some.”

I proceeded to take an imaginary energy ball from my heart and handed it to him, where he promptly swallowed it like his favorite video game character, Yoshi would. I told him that anytime he was feeling stupid he could most certainly have some more of my love, because I always have some to spare just for him.

I will never forget the spring in his step I witnessed as he walked to class. Perhaps a little donation was all he needed.