Teaching your child(ren) to show love.

Valentine’s Day is not something that was celebrated in my household growing up. In fact, if you come from a typical Nigerian household, you’ll understand that physical or verbal forms of affection are not really a thing. I don’t remember my parents ever saying ‘I love you’ or giving me cuddles, but they would show my siblings and I love in non-verbal ways. Asking ‘are you hungry’ when you are upset counts, right? LOL!

When I started my own family, I decided that expressing love using all the love languages would be the norm. Family cuddles are always in unlimited abundance. We help each other out when we can or when we see the other person struggling. We have dedicated movie or games night. Don’t get me started on the love notes, and of course, saying I love you and why we love each other is a part of our lives.

Valentine’s Day is really all about love, and I’ll always take the opportunity to create more memories with my family; not just between my partner and I, but also between us parents and my son. Who doesn’t like good pampering?

Looking for some fun ways to teach your kids the meaning of love? Then keep reading. 🙂

Write your child a love note:

You can hand write a letter or type one up; in my case, I used Canva to design my son’s letters (yes, plural lol). It’s a great idea to write all the things you love about your child(ren). You can be as over the top as you want—draw Xs and Os all over, sprinkle glitter on the envelope or write sentences on heart shaped sticky notes and stick them all over their room when they’re asleep. Watch their faces light up the next morning.

One of the letters my son will be getting tomorrow.
One of the letters my son will be getting tomorrow

Cook or bake together:

Pancakes or cookies are easy recipes that you can try with your child(ren). Don’t be afraid to let them make a mess. You can make your baking inventions heart shaped, smiley-faced or just let their creativity shine. Not only is this a great bonding activity, it also helps your child develop a range of skills: hand-eye coordination, special skills, motor skills and even basic concepts of science.You can find a range of easy recipes on bbcgoodfood. You can also check out an easy short bread recipe I shared here.

Another easy recipe you can try.

Do random acts of kindness together:

With the world being in a pandemic, there are a few socially distant things you can do with your child(ren). Offer to help an elderly neighbour with their groceries. I read a story recently where a mother and son helped clear out snow from the cars of key workers.That story had me in all the feels (read here). Doing random activities like these not only helps your child develop a sense of empathy, it also encourages them to be tolerant and accepting of others.

Have quality conversations:

This is something I do with my child daily. Every morning, we have a 10–15-minute conversation where we talk about every and anything. I call it ‘feelings time’. Talking and listening to your children will improve the bond you have with each other. It also helps build self-esteem and helps them to create meaningful relationships as they get older.

Netflix and chill or game night:

There’s nothing like good old movie night. Cuddle up on the sofa, grab some snacks and beverage, turn off the lights and stick a movie on. You can also go offline and play games instead. I love a good treasure hunt game. Get creative. I sometimes print out a maze and my son gets a little treat or a gift when he’s done. Remember, when it comes to games, you can always make up your own rules.

The aim is to keep alternating between a range of activities so you can discover your child’s love language. Do you have any fun activities you do with your child to teach them love? Please share in the comments.

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