Love-in-Action? What does that even mean?
To me, it means an intentional act to show someone I care about them in a kind and loving way. It could be a funny text to a friend, a small, unexpected give I send through the mail, an offer to help with a difficult task, or just a quick call to say that I love and appreciate someone.
As a devoted parent, I want my kids to feel they’re loved. It’s one of my top-three main focuses, which include keeping them safe, making sure they know that they’re loved, and giving them the resources and opportunities they need to grow, explore, and thrive, with the ultimate goal for them to become who they are meant to be.
But our kids cry.
Our kids scream.
They don’t do what we’ve told them to do.
Sometimes they score the winning run. Sometimes they reject the dinner we spent time and money preparing. They spill things on our freshly cleaned rugs. Our kids can create gorgeous pieces of art we want to hang on our wall. They’re sometimes way smarter than us . . .
Our kids, ya know, they’re so many things all the time.
And we love them more than our minds and hearts can even comprehend, so love-in-action is one easy way to bridge the love we feel directly to our children.
Below you’ll find seven common ways I show my kids that I love them.
I have previously shared about the 5 Love Languages and how I use them with my own children, but here’s a recap of the five love languages from Gary Chapman:
~ Pokemon obsessed? Lego lover? Favorite snack? So many possibilities for gifts your child will love
- Quality Time Spent Together
~ Taking a walk and listening with big ears is the cheapest, fastest way to show this one
- Acts of Service
~ Cleaning their room for them, helping kindly with homework or a chore
- Physical Touch
~ All the safe hugs! A shoulder squeeze or a foot rub goes a long way
~ “How did I get so lucky to be your Dad?” “I love how you’re so creative!” “I love you.”
The two that I want to add to that list (which are probably a combination of the above love languages) are:
- Q&A Check-ins
~ You’ll find my suggestion for the check-in questionnaire here. I think a weekly date covers so many love languages all at once, but going through these eleven questions together once a week is sure to create a stronger, more loving bond if done with openness, acceptance, joy, and always love.
- Bedtime ritual
~ We still answer one questions each night, which is a time for our family to be together, quiet down, listen to each other, and share something from our lives
The hugely important thing, in my opinion, is to schedule in time to actively love your child, stick to that plan, and share that time with joy and without resentment.
For example, maybe this coming Tuesday at noon, you’re going to play your daughter’s favorite game for two rounds after making her favorite lunch or maybe a fun snack. Or you might decide to take your son out for a date night at the bowling alley. Lunch dates are fabulous if you’re allowed to step into their class for lunch, but any effort you make is seen and felt by your children (at least that’s what I choose to believe).
If your child is food motivated like my youngest, then it’s definitely a trip to the farmer’s market or trying a new recipe for dinner (with a no-fail back-up on hand if he doesn’t like the new dish). It’s just like everything else. If showing your children that you love them is one of your life priorities, then you need to take the time to do it. Schedule it, tell your child, and have fun!
I hope you make an action plan to create love-in-action with your child today (and tomorrow and hopefully the next day too!).
So much love,