In this excerpt, adapted from The Positive Parenting Workbook, author Rebecca Eanes shares small yet impactful ways to build an essential foundation of trust with your child — through everyday acts of love. Read through the list of suggestions, then consider her questions for reflection, which explore how you and your child can, and do, express love.
You feel a love for your child that is deeper than you ever imagined. Of course you do! But it’s not the amount of love you feel for your child so much as the amount your child feels loved that builds trust and connection. You love your child immensely, but if you’re not speaking his love language, if you’re not acting in ways that make your love seen, heard, and felt, that love may not be reaching his heart the way it needs to. When a child feels deeply and unconditionally loved, when love is not simply a word spoken but is something real and perceptible, then trust flourishes and connection deepens.
The following are some acts of love that may reach the heart of your loved one:
- Make up a special secret handshake between the two of you.
- Give an endearing nickname.
- Hold hands when walking side by side.
- Give back rubs or foot massages.
- Offer hugs and cuddles after correction.
- Leave notes in her lunch box.
- Tell him why you like him.
- Verbally affirm her positive actions.
- Leave him cards or love notes.
- Say “I love you” first and often.
- Read together.
- Create and keep family traditions.
- Laugh and tell jokes.
- Send her mail.
- Make him a friendship bracelet.
- Make her a special meal or treat.
- Offer a blanket fresh from the dryer on a cold day.
- Teach him how to knit or ride a bike.
- Create a special nighttime ritual.
- Take her out individually and pamper her for a day.
Positive Parenting Workbook Questions for Reflection:
- How does your child show love to you?
- What does your child often request? This is a clue to what makes him or her feel loved.
- Ask your child what makes him or her feel most loved. Write down the answer.
- Based on your child’s answer, how you can show your love in small ways each and every day? Write down some ideas.
- Write down several new ways you can connect with each child.
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Excerpt adapted from The Positive Parenting Workbook: An Interactive Guide for Strengthening Emotional Connection by Rebecca Eanes with the permission of TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2018 by Rebecca Eanes.