Tuesday, February 7, 2012

10 Sweet Ways to Love on Your Kids

With Valentine's Day only a week away, I have been trying to think up some simple, cheap (or free!), yet sweet ways to make the day special for our children. {There will be a separate post on ways to love on your husbands.  Look for it later this week!}

Here are 10 sweet ways to love on your kids:

1. Prepare a special breakfast.  I like to make chocolate-chip muffins or heart-shaped chocolate-chip pancakes as a treat because my kids usually have yogurt & granola or oatmeal for breakfast. This year I'm going to try these yummy "Muffins That Taste Like Doughnuts" because, well, my kids love doughnuts (and so do I!), and the recipe is just too easy.  Servin' it up with pink lemonade.

2. Express what you love about your child.  Make a life-size tracing of your child, and tape heart-shaped love notes to it. For example, "I love how you shared with your sister today" or "Your laugh makes me smile!"  This idea came from Proverbial Homemaker.  I love simple yet beautiful gestures like this one that make your child feel loved and important. I know Kate will eat it up!

3. Have a special devotional on love. I want our girls to know the breadth and depth of their heavenly Father's love for them, so that will be my emphasis for this Valentine's Day devotional. Because our kids are 3 and 1, we use The Beginners Bible and I plan to retell the story of Jesus' death on the cross. I think a brief discussion of Christ's love, exemplified in His selfless sacrifice, is fitting on this day of love.  I've also been working with Kate on memorizing scriptures, and for the next two weeks we're working on John 3:16 {"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.} Then, we'll belt out a few "love" songs like "Jesus Loves Me," "Thank You, Lord, for Loving Me," and "Jesus Loves the Little Children" to get everyone singing.

4. Cut back on the house work & play!  Now, if you haven't got a single pair of clean underwear in the house, then you might want to do some laundry.  Otherwise, why not take a break from the daily household chores to spend time with the kids: read their favorite stories, play their favorite games, take them to the park or make an indoor obstacle course, build towers and forts, or have a tea party.  Whatever your child likes to do, do it!

5. Give them your undivided attention.  I am so bad about letting the computer, a book, or a phone call keep me preoccupied when my kids so desperately want to talk to or play with me.  If you can--even if just for an hour or two--get off the computer, put down your reading material, and put the phone on vibrate, and give your children full access to one of their favorite people: you!

6. Snuggle, cuddle, hug, & kiss.  In public, I'm not a touchy-feely person, but with my kids, it's different. They crave physical touch from me, and I've found that I crave it too.  If you aren't much on showing physical affection to your children, grab a blanket and some books and snuggle up on the couch for special reading time. Or pop some popcorn and watch a movie cuddled up together in bed.  Your children will definitely appreciate the closeness to you.

7. Tidy up their rooms for them.  Our oldest is responsible for keeping her room picked up and neat; it's a daily chore that earns her a little coinage each week. However, to show your love on Valentine's Day, why not serve your child by cleaning up his or her room yourself.  It's a small gesture that not only shows you care, but also teaches your child the beauty of serving and being served by others.

8. Let them know you were thinking about them.  If your children leave for school during the day, why not have a special snack like fresh-baked cookies waiting for them when they arrive home?  If you like to write poetry, why not write a special poem just for them?  If you're artistic, why not draw your child a picture or knit or sew something special for him or her?  Or just pick some fresh flowers to put in their bedroom.  Let your kids know you miss them when they're away from you through a thoughtful and personal gift.

9. Make their favorite dishes for dinner. Both of our girls love homemade spaghetti and will eat it bowl after bowl.  {The great thing about spaghetti is how many veggies you can hide in the sauce, and they never know!  Why not fix what they like for dinner even if it isn't the healthiest meal?  Get out the china and stemware, set the table with placemats and cloth napkins, and dine by candlelight.  How special would that make them feel?  And don't forget the special Valentine's Day dessert!  Any one (or more) of these would do the trick:

Towering Flourless Chocolate Cake

Strawberry Pavlova
Source: rd.com via Keri on Pinterest

Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

10. Say "I love you!" Nothing tells your child how much you adore him or her like those three little magic words. It's easy, free, and when said with heartfelt meaning is worth more than anything else on this list.

Spend some quality and quantity time with your children on Valentine's Day (and every day).  Let them know how special they are to you throughout the day.  Of course all of these ideas can and should be done throughout the year--not just on February 14th--but it's nice to have a special day set aside where we can focus specifically on showing love to our children.

How do you love on your children on Valentine's Day?  What special things do you do together?

I pray God's richest blessings on you & your family as you grow in His glory!
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  1. Great topic! In my daughter's eyes the number one way I can show I love her is by doing as you said, putting aside the housework and just play! It just makes her day, so I try to save as much housework as possible for when she is napping or gone to bed for the night. Also, I just heard a interview with Angela Thomas on Focus on the Family who wrote a great new book called, "52 Things Kids Need from a Mom: What Mothers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference" Another book I highly recommend is Elizabeth George's book "A Mom After God's Own Heart." Thanks for your post!

    1. Thanks, Brooke, for the book recommendations. I'm always looking for great Christian mommy books. Glad you stopped by!

  2. I love these ideas! Thanks for encouraging and inspiring us!