8 Ways to Show Your Children Love - Valentine's Day & Every Day

Dr. Lyndsey Garbi
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No day like today and no time like the present to show your love! I'm sure, like me, you are usually bursting with love (most of the time) towards your kids, but in between the blood pressure-raising sibling fights, tears, and craziness, it's easy to forget that they need the love reinforcement. Here are 8 ways to show your kids love every day:

1. Spend Quality Time With Them

A child and parent lay on the ground playing together

Whether it's car racing on the floor, superhero chasing, fort building, arts and crafts making, or book reading, you need to get on the floor with the kids and enter their world. I know it's not all fun for you. I do not enjoy being on my knees, ruining my pants, and dealing with my tired body dragging across the carpet, but this type of quality playtime is usually exactly what they want from you. Plus, playtime even helps your children learn!

2. Listen To Them

Father shows love by listening to his daughter

Engaging in conversation with kids who are reluctant to talk is tough. I find a good way to start conversations instead of asking the general "how was your day" is to ask pointed questions that they are more inclined to answer. Saying something like "what was the most fun part of your day?" or "did you play in the indoor gym again with the bouncy balls?" is more likely to get them going. Setting a precedent for communication early on will only help you in the teen years.

3. Change Up the Routine

Make a point to do something different every now and then. Take a detour on your way home, get a yummy treat, play outside, go for a bike ride, or even take them to do a chore that you need to get done. Showing love doesn't require a big gesture. Sometimes, it's the little moments that create the best memories.

4. Give Each Child Some Time Alone With You

A dad shows love to his daughter with tea time

It's super important that each child receives independent attention. They are probably all unknowingly so in need. I have found that when I do get the time alone with one of my children, they eat it up and are so enjoyable. It allows you time to really focus on the different needs and interests of each of them.

5. Show Love While Disciplining

Every child needs limits set, and all kids will fight them. It's our job as parents to restrain ourselves from throwing a tantrum as hard as that may be. Calmly explaining the rules and setting consequences for when they are not followed is a powerful tool when you are consistent, consistent, consistent. Be sure to praise them for following rules with lots of positive reinforcement.

6. Involve Food

A man and his child cook dinner together.

Food is a great motivator for kids (and adults)! Bake together, cook dinner together, and teach healthy food choices while it remains part of the fun. During meals, all devices go away (including your own) and take advantage of the time together as a family. Engaging your kids in conversation may not be very easy, but you can create fun games out of it. A good one is discussing a high and a low of the day.

7. Show Affection

A mom shows love with hugs

Hugging, cuddles, and kisses are so important to give your children a sense of security and love. All children and adults have different tolerances to entering personal space. Take cues from your children about where their limits are and take advantage of the closeness when you have the chance. Those kiddy squeezes are delicious!

8. Say "I Love You"

Kids need to hear it. Period. Tell them whenever you want, whenever you get the chance, and no matter what.