How Do You Tell Your Kids You Love Them?

It sounds like a simple question with a simple answer. I’m sure many of us parents say “I love you” daily, even multiple times each day. But kids, like adults, begin to sense that love can be shown in many ways. My 16-month-old is already very affectionate, slobbering me with kisses and patting my back with hugs every time I pick him up or bend down to his level. I feel like I’ve had a big influence on that as I recall often (and still) hugging him tightly while patting his back with a sign of affection since the first time I held him.

And I’ll never forget the first time that my 4-year-old said “I love you” to me — and meant it. Sometimes it takes his “I love you, Mom” to remind me that I haven’t told him often enough that day. Then, I think about some of my actions that he’ll appreciate. Like saying “yes” more often, letting him watch his favorite TV program when he asks, reading him a story or telling him one when he asks — or just doing them before he asks.

When he was around two, I taught him how to say “I love you” in French (je t’aime). It was our little secret language — something special that just the two of us shared. Today, when I whisper that to him as I buckle him in his car seat, he gets the biggest grin and repeats it back.

Here are some other ways I’ve told or shown my kids I love them:

  • Texted the sitter to tell them
  • Texted the sitter a picture of myself with a note to say I love them (one from today shown above)
  • Random hugs
  • Back rubs
  • Caressing their hair
  • Love notes
  • Heart-shaped pancakes
  • Laying with them to help them fall asleep
  • Surprising them with their favorite meal
  • Sitting next to them while watching their chosen movie
  • Carrying them — even when they are more than 30 pounds

It’s easy to get caught up in rushing from school, soccer, dance lessons…and the list gets longer as kids get older. It’s important to send your kids little gestures and reminders how much they mean to you.

What are some of the ways that you’ve told your kids you love them?

—Sarah Jo Sautter, Editor & Publisher

1 Response to “How Do You Tell Your Kids You Love Them?”


  1. 1 Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Even though my kids are grown and are out on their own, we try and gather once a week for dinner to catch up on life. A simple way for me to show them how much I love them is to make one of their favorite meals each week. And since both really do not like to cook…they especially appreciate a home cooked meal. 🙂


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