I love my daughter to the moon and back, but sometimes I wonder if she knows it. Even though she can’t tell me that she understands my love for her yet, there are many little ways that I’ve found to show her my love, and over time I’ve seen in her responses that it’s pretty clear that she knows she is loved.
Here are 14 simple things you can do with your child or grandchild to show them love.
Nothing says “I love you” like a good snuggle session – even the tiniest babies can understand the love behind this. Hugs and squeezes, cuddling in bed in the morning — all of these things are an important part of building a strong bond between you and your child.
2. Drop everything.
We live in a world that is “go, go, go” and I will be the first to admit that I often find myself more attached to my phone, computer, and daily schedule than I should. I realize that work needs to get done, but make sure that sometimes you just drop what you’re doing, put away your phone and computer, and just take time to focus on your child. You don’t have to do anything exciting. Just being there and being present will demonstrate love.
Just because they might not be able to talk back yet, doesn’t mean you can’t still talk to them. Tell your little one stories of your childhood, tell them about your favourite things – just talking to them is a way to show love.
This is something I’m working on. I’m pretty good at talking to my daughter, but I don’t always think to stop and listen, since she’s not really speaking many coherent words yet. But, recently, I just stopped to listen, showing her non-verbal signs of active listening and she babbled on and on for about five minutes straight! Give your baby a listen – you’ll both be able to appreciate it.
Hearing the sweet (at least to their baby ears) sound of your voice is a special and intimate way to show your child your affection. Sing some of your favourites – they’ll stick with your child as they get older. Or, even if you’re not much of a singer, make up a special song for your little one that is “their song” and sing it to them often.
The simple act of smiling with and at your baby will provide them with non-verbal cues from you that they are loved.
7. Say “I love you.”
There is no such thing as telling your baby that you love them too often. I’m pretty sure I tell my daughter I love her at least 18,000 times a day, but at least she’ll never have any doubts.
8. Have a dance party.
Turn on some fun tunes and dance around with your baby – nothing says I love you like having fun together!
9. Give butterfly kisses.
I forgot all about butterfly kisses, but they are a sweet way to share your affections with your little.
10. Get down on their level.
Compared to our babies we are giants lumbering above them, so take the time to show you care by getting down on their level. Lay down on your belly next to them while they’re having tummy time or sit criss-cross-applesauce on the rug with them while they’re stacking blocks. This will most definitely make your little one feel important and cherished.
11. Go on an outing.
An outing doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, but take a walk around the neighbourhood, go visit the neighbor’s chickens, just do something fun and novel together. Getting out and doing activities together is a part of bonding for the both of you.
12. Build a fort.
Even teeny tiny babies enjoy the changes between dark and light, and building a simple blanket fort (even just throwing a blanket over the dining room table!) can be a bit of fun and show love.
13. Explore together.
Walk around your house or neighbourhood and check out all the things there are to see. Tell your little one about the photos hanging on the wall or what some of the kitchen utensils in your drawers are used for. This is a fun activity that will also help your little one learn about the world.
14. Be silly.
Have fun together – don’t take yourself too seriously. Be silly with your baby. Make funny faces and do funny voices when you read them stories. Your baby will love it.
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