I am sitting at my desk. I am trying to start a post inspired by a fantastic conference call I was on tonight with Dr. Karen Reivich and my fellow faculty moms with the Fishful Thinking program. For an hour we shared and discussed how our families give and receive love. It’s just before 9:30 pm and the kids have been put to bed. They are far from being asleep, however. In fact, AJ just made his way into my bed, right behind my computer, as he so often does, to get away from one of the other kids who is singing in bed.
He keeps trying to talk to me. And in the middle of shushing and snapping at him to go to bed already!, he says, “Mommy, I sure love you.”
My heart melts.
How to Create a Love List With Your Kids
Dr. Reivich’s newsletter about expressing love hit home with me. In it, she challenges parents to sit down with their children and create a Love List.
What is a LOVE LIST? It’s simple – a love list (between a parent and child, at least) includes the simple ways that you can show your love for each other AND the specific things that “say” LOVE to the other person. Maybe my kids FEEL my love when I tuck them into bed at night. I might not be saying “I love you,” but they feel it. When parents and kids sit down to write a love list together, they can be more aware of those things that make them feel loved – and then remember to do those things more often.
I had some ideas of my own, but I decided to get the kids’ input. When do they feel loved? What are the things we do or say that tell them that we love each other?
On the conference call, I shared my experience at Mt Vernon last Monday. After returning home, I was worried that my kids would remember the whining and the late lunch, the cold and the rain. And Mom getting lost on the way home.
But with a little distance, even I am forgetting the tough parts of the day and remembering the things that I would hope my kids would remember, too. We spent time together. We laughed. We talked. I was with them 100%. TIME, my total attention to my children, is a way that I can express my love to them.
Here are some of the things that my kids added to our Love List:
- saying “thank you”
- playing games together
- going out to lunch together
- nice letters
- hugs and kisses
- making cookies together
- snuggling in bed
- playing with our hair
- talking on the phone together
- texting each other
- SAYING I LOVE YOU
These are simple things, but they are so important because it is in the quiet moments of snuggling or cooking or braiding hair that my love for my kids is confirmed to them.
I also told Dr. Reivich and the FT faculty about a little tradition that our family has. When we gather before bed to read and pray together, we end with our Family Cheer. I don’t know how it evolved, but it is one of our favorite family rituals. It feels like a big family kiss, but it’s much less messy.
How do your family members show love for each other?
Disclosure: I am a faculty mom for the Fishful Thinking program and am compensated for my time.
© 2011 – 2016, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.