Inside: Kids need love for healthy development in all areas. Here are 72 Fun and Easy Ways parents can show love for children every day.
“Mom are we going to make the trail again?”
We were sitting on the front porch in the middle of July as my 5-year-old asked me this. I didn’t have the faintest clue what he was talking about.
“You know, the trail of hearts that goes from my bed to breakfast downstairs?
It took me a few seconds, but then it clicked. He was talking about the sweet (but not so sanitary) little tradition I had randomly started a few years ago of putting down a trail of candy conversation hearts from the kids’ beds down to the breakfast table.
At first glance, I thought it was the candy for breakfast component that had them waiting in eager anticipation for our simple ritual, but after a couple of years, I realized it was something else.
This simple act of love left a positive emotional imprint that lasted must longer than the 2 minutes it took me to scatter the mediocre tasting candies.
My children loved to wake up to something made by me, just for them.
While it’s somewhat easy to be intentionally thoughtful on special or celebratory days, let’s be honest, being intentional about showing love for children during day to day life can get lost in the mix of… well surviving.
The thing is though- for your child, being loved is a means of emotional survival.
In human development, it’s been well documented that a child comes into the world with the vital primary needs of safety and security, and gets these needs met through responsive and attuned attachments caregivers.
Essentially, the thousands of small moments of love you show your child throughout their early life, build the foundation for their emotional health and future relationships.
Emotion scientist Barbara Fredrickson describes the importance of showing love to your kids:
These moments of positive connection that parents can develop with their kids are, as an affective neuroscientist described, like fertilizer for the brain. They support brain development and social skill development. One of the most important things we can give to our kids is that caring attuned attention.
Showing kids love doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy, and in fact, it can most definitely happen in the small moments of daily life.
Here are 72 ways you can show love for children (and boost their emotional well-being) today!