How can we make sure our children feel loved?

This is a question on my mind from time to time, especially in the midst of a busy life, with tantrums, sleep regression, or the pressures of learning to read and write.

This month at WEEKDAYS, we are focused on one of the most powerful forces in the world, love.

Not the “Hallmark” kind of love. Instead, we'll be focused on the real meaning and practice of how love comes to life. We’ll be looking at love from many different angles and using our own adapted version of the famous love languages as our framework.

To start, if you haven't looked into the love languages, take this quiz to learn more about your love language: Five Love Languages Quiz

While it might seem too early to know for sure what your child’s love language is, even at one year old, children start to show their love preferences. If you think about your child - do they love to snuggle with you (gentle touches), do they bring you toys and presents (gifts), or help in the kitchen (helping/quality time) or light up when you praise them (words of affirmation)? These observations can give you a glimpse at what they find important. They may be both emulating you and also showing how they prefer to receive love.

This week, we're focused on the first love language: words of appreciation, for others and ourselves.

Below are eight easy ideas to practice words of affirmation at home. If you are up for it, take on a ‘challenge’ or two this week to incorporate the love languages at home.

With love and gratitude,

  • Shauna (WEEKDAYS founder)

Love Language Week 1 Words of Affirmation & Affection

  1. Praise your child for the work and effort they put in - when you see they are really making an effort. (Research shows this is the best way to praise children.)

  2. Find quiet times to say “I love you” - during quality time together. Instead of scolding, try flipping it and offering encouragement when your child makes a mistake (focusing on their efforts). Failure is the most important part of learning.

  3. Say nice things about your child to family members when they can overhear you.

  4. Stick a love note for your child on the bathroom mirror. Make a list of things you love about your child and display it in your home.

  5. Write love notes and leave them around the house for your child to discover.

  6. Put encouraging notes in their lunchbox. Make a thank you card for your child after they did something nice for you.

  7. Draw a portrait of you and your child and display it in your bedroom. Start a mom-child journal and write words of encouragement for your child to read.

  8. If you make a mistake, offer your child a heartfelt apology and let them know how much they mean to you.

  9. Say “I love when you …” and be specific about the things you like. Create a name of affection for your child.