There is much emphasis in showing and expressing love around Valentine’s Day, as you are very well aware, so I want to share some ways of teaching our kids how to show affection.
I’ve been talking about how letting your children know they are unconditionally loved is more beneficial and important than constantly pushing them to succeed.
I always daydream about a world where we are collectively and individually focusing more on developing a family than we are on achievement.
I am personally on a journey of spreading the awareness that meritocracy must be taken out of our homes, and ultimately, out of our society, and to look at unconditional support as a gift, not a reward.
My wish is supported by research and science.
Many studies support the notion that consistent unconditional affection and support affects positively a child’s mental wellbeing, promotes physical health, improves brain development, and overall life success.
When our kids grow up in a warm, loving, nurturing environment where they feel safe, they thrive, learn more, and experience more happiness.
I say this because children learn to relate to others from how we relate to them, and how we relate to others.
“Do as I do” is more powerful than “do as I say,” or “actions speak louder than words.“
My dad’s example taught me the importance of affectionate family, and the power of balancing out discipline with affection.
I know that I want my kids to know that showing feelings of affection is a healthy and beautiful daily practice.
LOVE is a gift.
Love, EXERCISED, is the ultimate gift!
What is LOVE?
Well, let’s quote the Bible:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. 1 Cor 13
Think about it.
If someone claims to love you, but doesn’t exercise the patience, kindness, support, selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, protection, trust, hope and perseverance that SHOWS they love you… instead, they are easily angered, quick to judge and blame.
Do You Feel Loved?
Love is not supposed to hurt. Love HEALS!
Love is supposed to be a yummilicious feeling that fills our life with gratitude, passion and positive energy.
Love is not some mystical, magical action-less feeling.
Even though love is within us and the essence of who we are, love is a choice to act and to allow ourselves to be a channel, a conduit, and an instrument of love for ourselves and those around us.
The Affection Hack
One of our Valentine’s Day traditions has always been to go a memory care home and smile, hug, and pass handmade valentines around to the wonderful residents.
It’s what I call a REAL treat.
It was one of those opportunities in which they learned that I LOVE YOU is more than words and that everyone speaks a different love language.
And that’s “the affection hack.” When you know someone’s love language, you don’t have to go all out doing everything under the stars to make sure they feel loved.
It becomes easy and simple to do our part to help them feel loved – if they so choose.
Showing Affection To Your Children
We can do small things every day to help our kids feel loved, and to teach them how to show affection in a positive way.
They don’t have to take much time or cost too much money, yet they can make a HUGE difference.
A few ideas:
- unplug from electronics and listen!
- kiss them when they allow it
- involve them in what you do
- embrace them with tenderness, and ask for a hug back
- play with them
- offer words of affirmation, compassion, and support
- make eye contact
- write them love notes or letters
- smile at them and laugh with them
- make gifts for them and cherish their gifts
As you set an example, kids will learn to reciprocate that affection and love, and to expand their signs of affection in their relationships with others.
As we show love in different ways [giving of yourself, your effort and energy, your time, your talents, your thoughtfulness, or your support to help someone], children find ideas to do the same with friends and family.
A Word Of Caution
We must send the strong message, verbally and by example, that our kids’ bodies belong to them and no one gets a say in how they use it to express affection (or not).
To be considered safe and acceptable, physical affection should be enjoyable for all involved.
I am a strong believer in allowing our little ones to decide what is appropriate and to listen to their self-protective instincts.
There’s a difference between abundance of manners and lack of boundaries!
As we teach our kids to be affectionate, to give from the heart, to show love and care, we can also teach them to say NO in a respectful way, when displaying physical affection doesn’t feel right to them.
If your child is uncomfortable, trust their instincts!
Whether kids see mom and dad holding hands, sharing pecks, or saying “I love You‘s,” it models healthy relationships, demonstrating that showing love and affection is part of your every day.
As a single mom, I model affection with my parents, my siblings, and my close friends.
When I see my daughters compliment each other, give each other little homemade gifts, and hug and kiss each other, or share their favorite things with each other, I feel so happy and fulfilled – and I make it a point to say it out loud.
My Little Pige (Eliana) at just 3 years old always asked for us to go “love each other on the couch,” because she knew that is something that is available, and everyone around here is comfortable asking for it, and receiving it.
We all feel loving emotions, and even with our “busy” schedules, we can all find opportunities to show we love each other.
Is there a place to buy the latest gadget or the most popular toy, outfit, or shoes? Only if that kid’s love language is gifts – otherwise, you can save up your moolah, mama!
Disney Channel’s Secrets of Sulphur Springs
My daughters and I are all fluent in Quality Time, so one of the ways we bond and connect is to sit together and watch our favorite shows.
This week, we were blessed again with the opportunity to screen this week’s episode of Disney Channel’s Secrets of Sulphur Springs and it sparked a conversation about love and affection – and the lack thereof.
We are grateful that we also received the most tasty Tiny Pies so we could enjoy them together as we watched the episode.
We ate them with ice cream as we gasped at everything that was going this week in Secrets of Sulphur Springs!
In “Secrets of Sulphur Springs,” 12-year-old Griffin Campbell (Preston Oliver), whose world has been upended by his father, Ben (Josh Braaten). Ben has moved the family from Chicago to take ownership of an abandoned hotel property, The Tremont.
The Campbell family: Griffin’s mother, Sarah (Kelly Frye), and his younger twin siblings, Wyatt (Landon Gordon) and Zoey (Madeleine McGraw), moves into The Tremont hoping to restoring it to the lively vacation destination it once was.
On his first day at his new school, Griffin hears rumors that the hotel is haunted by the ghost of Savannah (Elle Graham), a girl who disappeared decades ago.
He soon meets and befriends Harper (Kyliegh Curran), a thrill-seeking classmate, and soon they discover a secret portal that allows them to travel back in time and uncover clues about the town mystery.
In “Long Time Gone,” Griffin and Harper are grounded after they are caught together outside of The Tremont.
Soon after, they sneak back through the portal with the hope of still finding Savannah.
Secrets of Sulphur Springs is not a romantic series. It is a thrilling adventure that helps kids and parents connect and explore serious topics in a fun and imaginative way.
It’s wholesome fun for the whole family!
The episode premieres FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Disney Channel.
This was my favorite scene in the movie because these kids are genius!
It’s very much about affection and different ways to show and not to show love! You’ll know what I mean.
10 Ways to Love
Many years back, I wrote these 10 Ways to Love in an old notebook and I recently found it … with a Scripture verse to back it up and everything!
LISTEN without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)
SPEAK without accusing. (James 1:19)
GIVE without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)
PRAY without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)
ANSWER without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)
SHARE without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)
ENJOY without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)
TRUST without wavering. (Corinthians 13:7)
FORGIVE without punishing. (Colossians 3:13)
PROMISE without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)
The way I see it, Lovers are imperfect, but love is perfect.
As we listen, speak, give, pray, answer, share, enjoy, trust, forgive, and remember our promises to ourselves and those we love, we encourage children to share love and affection to friends and family, and everyone around them.
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children or not, I know you express affection towards your children, because that’s what positive moms do.
What are some ways you recommend to teaching our kids to show affection? Tell us everything in the comments below! And if you do celebrate Valentine’s Day, make sure you tag me on your fun posts.
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM
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