Saying “I love you” is easy for most moms, but showing love without words is just as important. One of my favorite things to do with my youngest daughter is go grocery shopping. Since she was young, she’s always wanted to tag along. Sure, it’s more efficient to run to the store and grab what I need without lugging a curious kid along, but I couldn’t say no when she’d look up at me with those big eyes and ask if she could come. She’s a teen now and occasionally, I’ll poke my head into the living room as she scans TikTok and say, “Hey kid, want to go to the store with me?”
Regardless of her answer, it’s a little way of saying, “Remember, I love you.” Showing love without words is one of the most important things we can do in our relationships with our kids. Don’t get me wrong; they need to hear you and their dad say it. But on top of that, they need to experience it as true in daily interactions. Here are 7 ways to tell your kids you love them without saying a thing.
1. Hug them.
This is essential for showing love without words, regardless of their age. Your kids need to experience appropriate physical affection from you. The older they get, the more you’ll need to be cognizant of when and how to do this well. But even if they say it’s embarrassing, do it anyway. Appropriate physical touch is critical for communicating love.
3. Send GIFs and memes.
This one is kind of goofy, but having fun is a great way to communicate love and kids love GIFs and memes. On break at work and come across something funny you think your kid would love? Text it to him or her. Not only is sharing a laugh a great way to bond, but it’s also a powerful way of showing love without words.
4. Go to their events.
I don’t know why kids are into what they’re into, but it doesn’t matter. The point is that if they enjoy something, you need to be present for it. So whether it’s dance or drama, basketball or debate club, do whatever you can to be present to support them. Of course, there will be times when that’s impossible. But as often as you can, be physically present at the events your kids care about.
Did your daughter tell you about a song she loves? Did your son mention a kind of food he wants to try? Maybe he shared a story of something that made him laugh. Remember those things. Write them down if you need to. Then, when you come across something that reminds you of the stories your kids have told or interests they have, buy it for them or take a picture of it and text them. This communicates to your kids that you’re thinking of them, even when they aren’t with you.
6. Take them along.
Is there something you love? A favorite band? A favorite food? A sporting event? Take your kids along with you. Two of the most memorable moments I have as a mom are taking my son to a play and taking my younger daughter to a concert by one of my favorite bands. These are things I love and I got to love them with my kids. Sharing something you love with your kids is a powerful way to communicate their value to you.
Sometimes I look at one of my daughters as she snuggles with our dog or cooks dinner or chats with her friends and I’m just overcome with love. My natural reaction is to smile. If she happens to catch me doing it, she smiles in return. Smiling at your kids is a powerful way to express your love without uttering a word.
How else is showing love without words possible?