Show-and-Tell in various forms is a popular feature of many preschool classrooms. When you watch children making their presentation you understand the popularity of show-and-tell. Kids love to talk about their interests and passions but they love to share those interests and passions even more.
Kids are all about show. As a parent you know this. We have to demonstrate and lead our children by the hand through every lesson--both big and small.
So why do we so often think it is enough to simply tell our children that we love them? It isn't enough. Love is the biggest show-and-tell of them all and you need to make it a part of your every day life.
Children do as we do, not as we say, and down the road do we really want our children simply mouthing the word: "I love you" to us as they rush out the door? Or do we want them to show us in many ways?
This is why it is crucial to show your child that you love him.
Hugs and kisses are good. So are tickles and games. My son and I have little bedtime rituals that allow us to show our love for each other.We snuggle for bedtime stories and talk about the day. Then we come up with ridiculous ways to count how much we love each other, for example 12,567 heffalumps was one recent description. Then we butterfly kiss, eskimo kiss, and finally squish and smooch (our code words for hugs and kisses).
However these are not the only ways that I demonstrate my love for my son.
When I was growing up I never doubted that my parents loved me. They made very clear that my brother and I were a top priority for them. They sacrificed professionally and personally to give us time together as a family. My father coached; my parents chaperoned, volunteered, and chauffered; and my parents attended every school function, play, concert, and game.
More than that though my parents took an interest in us as people and would play games or ride bikes. They would simply spend time with us doing the things that we liked doing.
It really isn't just about time. After all, both my parents worked and were active in the community. My mother was the only working mother in the neighborhood when I was a child.
It is a question of priorities. YOU know that your child is your top priority, but what do your actions tell your child? If repeatedly your actions put something or someone else before your child then they are going to get that message loud and clear no matter what is in your heart.
Most days my husband leaves for work before our son is even awake, but when he comes home in the evening the first thing he does is scoop Noah up for a tickle and hug. Sometimes Noah even makes his father chase him because he knows that his father will. Noah knows that he is a priority for his father and he trusts that love.
So how can you show your child he is a priority? How can you demonstrate your love for your child? Find some way every day to show as well as tell your child of your love. Some ways we do this in our home:
Skip dinner preparations and make a picnic together to eat at the location of che child's choice. Noah's favorite is up in his tower.
Clicking off the TV to lay on the floor and layout a train track. Coming up with new designs can actually be pretty relaxing for the parent after a stressful day!
Going for a walk and just talking about whatever comes up. This is one of Noah's favorites!
Setting down my own book to read Noah one of his.
Putting off kitchen cleanup to go outside and play soccer or tag.
Notice what all these actions have in common? They don't involve money, just your time and attention. That is the gift your child values above all else. Sure they'd like that latest toy and gadget they see advertised on TV, but they love you and long after that toy is abandoned in the back of their closet they will still choose to spend time with you.