5 Ways to Say I Love You
Author: Lauren Gottschalk-Scher
Are you looking for a meaningful way to say “I love you” to your loved ones? Do you want your children to learn how to show love for others? Real and natural love – we aren’t talking about buying gifts, or taking them to expensive places; instead, we are going back to the basics. Below, we have five, amazing, simple ideas that are sure to put a smile on their faces and assure them of your love!
Prepare a delicious, healthy meal
Cooking is a popular way to say “I love you.” But favorite meals are not always healthy. We can all think of nutritious foods our families should eat but don't enjoy. Find healthier ways to prepare favorite meals, and new ways to serve the healthy foods you should be eating. Make pizza using whole wheat dough, organic tomato sauce, unprocessed cheese, and vegetables. Instead of serving steamed broccoli, add it to a casserole or chili. Add vegetables like carrots and zucchini to homemade muffins. Blend beans and vegetables into a delicious spread. Make smoothies with favorite fruits and not-so-favorite greens. Your family will enjoy a departure from the usual food repertoire and will feel energetic and healthy.
Give sincere compliments
It's easy to tell your children that they are cute, or to tell your partner he looks nice. We all like receiving these compliments, but they are superficial. Try giving more meaningful compliments. When your child is especially affectionate, tell him that you love the way he expresses his love. When your child does well in school, tell her she is smart, and that you are proud of how much she loves learning. After your partner puts the children to bed, tell him that you love seeing how much the children look forward to their special routine, and that he is a great father and partner. These compliments boost self-esteem and show your family how to express love in more meaningful ways.
Turn off and tune in
Set aside at least 30 minutes each day to turn everything off and spend quality time together. This not only includes the TV, computer, and telephone, but also your internal to-do lists and worries. Be fully present with your children as you play or read a book together. Take a walk and discuss what you see instead of worrying about everything you still have to do. Go to a playground and push your child on the swing instead of talking on your phone. Take time to reconnect with your partner at the end of the day to keep your relationship strong. You will show your family that they are important while creating a lifetime of sweet memories.
Encourage individual interests
When your child shows interest in something, seize the opportunity and help them explore and learn. If your baby likes looking at fish at the pet store, take her to an aquarium. Don't put it off until she is older – babies learn from every experience. If your son loves to dance, encourage him to try dance lessons. If you imagined being your daughter's Girl Scout leader but she wants to play soccer instead, volunteer to help coach her team. Encourage your partner to explore his own interests and hobbies, too.
Mothers often put others' needs before their own, leaving little time for themselves. It is important to take care of yourself so you take care of others. Eat healthy, nutritious meals and make time to exercise. You will feel energetic and good about yourself. Have a positive self-image instead of putting yourself down. We often say hurtful things to ourselves that we would never say to others. Take time to relax and recharge, even if you can only manage to steal a couple of minutes throughout the day. Have interests and hobbies outside of your work and family. Loving yourself will better allow you to love others, and will set a good example for your children; they will learn to love and respect themselves and will demand the same from others.