Teaching and learning should start early. There are so many things that children need to learn as they grow up. Good behavior, positive traits, right attitude – these and more should be taught to kids at an early age. One of these values that should be instilled in kids at a young age is love.
But how can parents teach kids about love? Although we have been showering our kids with love, love is something that can’t be taught by simply saying or lecturing about it. How can we do it? Be it love for God, love for parents, love for siblings, relatives, and friends, here are ways of teaching your kids the 4 letters of love.
How to teach love to kids
Parents should serve as role models to teach love on kids. Kids can learn by observing and imitation. So one effective way for kids to learn love is if they can see love on or from their parents. How can they learn about it? Here are a few steps.
- Tell the kids that you love them… all the time. You can also make it a point that they can see or hear you when you say I love you to your spouse, to your other kids, to family and friends. They will also learn to do it. It can only be imitation and saying the phrase at first, but soon they learn the deeper meaning of the words.
- Give hugs and kisses. This is one way of showing affection. Studies even reveal that children who are hugged kissed and nurtured more often when young are more confident later in life than those who are less hugged.
- Smile. A smile can convey a lot of positive emotions. You can observe it bu giving your smile to your kids and see how they beamed as a response.
- Write notes on their lunch boxes or in their bedside table. Greetings of love during birthdays and other occasions can also help.
- Prepare their favorite meal. It is an intentional way of demonstrating love as it takes effort to do it.
- Take the time to play with him. This is a way of showing him your undivided attention. It can be as simple as building towers of blocks or a simple board game inside the house or running and chasing outside the yard.
- Read to him. It can be another way to show that you love him and you want to spend time with him.
- Give him little jobs. This can make kids feel that you trust him of little responsibility and can build his self-esteem.
- You can give him treats or small gifts to show care and thoughtfulness.
Activities to teach love
Sometimes, an effective way to teach children is through games, projects or activities. They do not just enjoy it, they can learn from it. Here are some suggestions.
- How do you like to feel loved? In this game, you can ask your kids the question, “How do you know if someone loves you?” They can give different answers and you can understand how you can show love to them. You can take turns and kids will ask and its time for you and your partner to answer. Answers may range to hugging, kissing, showing help and many more.
- You can make a family tree or a photo album with people who love your children and those who they love. These can include parents, siblings, relatives, friends, churchmates, classmates. You can show them that you can love as many people and the idea of love and love does not diminish.
- Make a big “love heart.” You can teach kids that the heart is often the representation of love. The heart supplies blood throughout the body and love supplies energy to the people. Love also keeps people alive. Outside or in the park, you can build a heart using stones. At home, you can create hearts using a collection of his favorite objects like toys and stuffed animals.
- Create a love dance. With favorite dance music, you can make actions and dance moves that you can both do together. These can make you laugh and smile. This is an effective way to equate love with happiness.
- Talk about people, these can be friends or relatives that your kids know or whom they have just met. You can tell your kids how loving these persons are. You can teach them that love should also be shown to people that seem different than us, like those who are older, those who speak a different language, of different skin colors and even those with disabilities. They are all special and deserved to be loved.
- Teach about unconditional times. Ask your child difficult situations like missing a friend or not getting what they like. Despite these circumstances, we should love under all conditions.
- Learn or create a sign that means “I love you.” It can be signs that only family members know or an existing one. You can use the American sign language sign as an example. They can use it to say “I love you” to people they love.
- You can play charade and show loving actions for kids to act and guess. This can include hug, kiss, opening the doors, offering food or drink and others. You can show the kids who will act in some scenarios that show love or pictures of relatives and friends and act how they can show love to them. You can teach them that there are different ways of expressing love to different persons.
- Help the child in making greeting cards to family members or friends during their birthdays and other occasions to show love. You can start by writing a sample love letter or letter of appreciation to your child. You can accompany them in giving it personally to the receiver or help the child to send it through mail.
We know how happy it feels to love and feel loved. And it is one of the best values we can teach to kids while they are young. They can grow with it and apply it in their lives, in meeting people and dealing with them These can all be your guide in teaching your kids the 4 letters of love.