Love is at the core of our existence and the thread that binds us. It is a primary human emotional need to feel loved.
“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” -Victor Hugo
Nothing in the world is quite as heart opening as holding your child in your arms and enveloping them with your love. We watch our children grow and develop through the milestones of their lives, as their character emerges, we nourish and nurture their strengths and individuality, we take photos and sometimes journal the events and happenings. Knowing this brings us to a deeper realization of how love lasts over and over again and how the simple everyday acts of ‘love’ sustain us in our family life. You express your love for your child through words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages” explains them all and guides you to find yours and your child’s dominant love language. When we be love, do love and have love the world is a loving and safe place. We can deeply trust and rely on each other to be there and listen. As The Beatles remind us so beautifully as they sang: ‘All you need is love…’
Here are 5 beautiful ways to nurture the bonds of love with your child
“I love you” rituals
I love you rituals are lifelong memories that deepen our family experiences, relationships and connections. Bless your family with a Sandwich Cuddle. This is great fun as well as an opportunity to start a little favourite family ritual. Cuddle your child and then have your partner or special family member come and join in the cuddle, making your child the ‘love’ in the middle of the sandwich. This cuddle is perfect for modeling giving and receiving love. Love songs ~ You are special ~ Sung to the tune ‘twinkle twinkle little star’. You are special yes you are, you are my little shining star, you have your own special smile and a very special style. You are special yes you are. You are my little shining star.
A tender touch
A gentle stroke of their hair as they sit on your lap, a rub on the back, a big snuggle or bending down to hold their shoulders in a loving and compassionate way, can create meaningful moments and connections of reassurance in the midst of a busy schedule.
Embracing time for creativity, and take your child’s footprint on a canvas or paper. Decorate them and send this gift of love to Grandparents, Uncles or Aunties. They will feel surprised and loved to receive a precious gift to last a life time.
Bed time affirmations
Saying an affirmation that strengthens your bonds of love and affirms a loving message to your child is not only a loving thing to do, it also helps with your child’s self-image and self-esteem. An affirmation I have said to my son since he was born was “I see your kind eyes and your loving heart”. I stroke around his eyes and touch his chest as I affirm each message. As he got older I added. And I am glad I’m your mum. One day he replied back “And I’m glad I’m your son”. We have been sharing this ritual for almost 11 years now. Another “I love you” ritual we began a few years back and it is part of our goodbye ritual is: I say “Baci Baci” in a loving way ~ we kiss both cheeks. With his Daddy he says “Naso Naso” which is a nose kiss. Sometimes I have fun and say Naso Naso and my son will say No Muma that is Daddy’s in a loyal and loving voice. For some other great ideas there is a beautiful book called ‘I love you rituals’ by Becky. A Bailey.
The gift of words
Love phrases are a great way for your child to feel loved and adored. You can spontaneously express your love “I just love you more and more”, “you are my little love bug”, “I love you to the moon and back”, “You are so so so so (and add a few more so’s) lovable”. Have fun creating your own love phrases, it is amazing how they evolve over the years. May these precious little ‘I love you rituals’ create more joy, spontaneous hugging and the inspiration to love lots and laugh more.
Happy whole-hearted parenting Kerry