From the moment I laid eyes on her, I was smitten. How is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never met before? Yet when each of my babies were born, I fell head over heels in love with them. I began to dream of all the wonderful adventures we would take together and all the things I would teach them to do and enjoy. When I held them as newborns, I could hardly wait to teach reading, music, art, cooking and more to my children. I love them so much it feels like my heart will burst. I’m guessing you can relate to the feeling.
While parenting still includes dreamy moments like the one described above, there’s so much more to rearing these little ones God has given us. Though even Adam and Eve found it difficult to thrive in a world of sin, our current culture provides unique challenges to teaching our children to love well. How can we prepare our children to do so? Check out these 6 tips for a few ideas!
- Use our words wisely.
Teaching our children to use words that encourage kindness and love is so valuable! It’s easy to fall into a trap of constant correction rather than pointed praise and children learn from our example. Remembering to speak words of life and love is a great way of preparing our children to love well.
- Keep an eye out for those who need our love.
When Grandpa is having surgery, making a card for him is a great way to actively show love. When someone in the grocery store needs a little help, offer your hand in assistance. Have the children hold a door open or reach objects from a low shelf.
- Pray for those who need our love.
Even when we can’t physically do anything to help someone who needs our love, we can pray for them. Passing an ambulance? Pray for the drivers and passengers.
- Brainstorm doable love-giving ideas.
Receive news of a friend’s injury or illness? Talk about the need with your child and encourage them to brainstorm ways you could show this person love. Children enjoy being creative and thinking of their own plans to surprise someone with a shower of love.
- Tell them often that you love them.
I don’t believe children can ever hear “I love you” too often from their parents. It’s easy to allow the pace of life to speed by faster than our words of love to them. Help them know just how much they are loved each and every day!
- Use special occasions to help them feel loved.
While love is so much more than a feeling, feeling loved is important! On birthdays, holidays, and special days, help your children know they are loved beyond measure through your words, actions, and care. Taking time, giving gifts, snuggling and prayers together are all simple ways to love well.
One of our family’s favorite prayer books is “An I Love You Prayer.” The adorable illustrations and sweet rhyming words beautifully emphasize the importance of love and thanking God for his love. Cuddle up with your kiddos and enjoy a little reading time together; just one more way to let them know they are LOVED!
How are you teaching your children to love well?