Any parent reading this loves their children. And most every parent tells their child so frequently. But effectively communicating love is not always so simple. Doing it well means reading your child, and learning to see the expression through the child’s eyes. Some parents even ask, “What do I do or say that makes you feel most loved?” It often takes insight, determination and creativity to package love messages in ways the children can’t miss it.
Cassie has been perceptive and persistent at connecting with her anxious daughter. Read how she and her daughter have decided to creatively ensure that love lands:
I’ve been doing a simple little thing with Bella when I sense a disconnect, like my affectionate words, or my words of apology or forgiveness aren’t sinking in. I gently ask her if my words went into her heart. If she says no, she pretends to take out a key to the door to her heart, and then she opens the door. Then I whisper my affectionate, apologetic, or forgiving words to her little heart. She closes the door and locks it, and says, “It’s in there, Mom!” It’s been an awesome connection!
Apply it Now:
- Identify a child in your family that might not be opening the “door of his heart” to you. What might be causing that?
- In what way could you ask about your level of connection at an age-appropriate level? (e.g. for a younger child, “Is my love sneaking all the way through to the middle of your heart – the place where you really feel it?” Or, for an older child, “On a zero to ten scale, where zero is not at all and ten is totally, how much do you feel that ‘You are my beloved child in whom I am well-pleased?’”)
- Make a plan to connect more thoughtfully, deeply, and on your child’s terms. Some kids can tell you how your love could get through better. Others need you to be very observant and patient. One mom found out that simply sitting next to her fairly withdrawn daughter while she colored was a very effective expression of her affection. Find what works for your child and give it a try!
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