I am very affectionate towards my children. I give them hugs and kisses. I play with them and let them sleep with me every once in a while. I love them very much, and I want them to know that. More importantly, I want them to know what love looks like.
Many hugs and kisses have been exchanged between my boys and me. When I pick them up from their dad’s after school, they run to me with smiles on their faces and with their arms outstretched. They yell “Mommmmy!” When they finally reach me they wrap their arms around me in a death grip and say, “I’m so very happy to see you!” (FYI-NONE of this happens when they have received a bad conduct grade. If that is the case, they put on pout faces because they know they are about to lose privileges or receive some kind of punishment. 🙂 It is incredibly gratifying to be greeted in such a way, and it never gets old for me. I also know it will eventually end at some point.
Seeing this, I know that I am doing something right with them. They may not fully understand it, but they know that I love them very much. And I know that they love me! I tell them I love them every day they are with me, and I tell them often, not just once a day. Truly, I cannot help myself. The love I have for them is overwhelming sometimes, and I just have to express it. Telling our children we love them, verbalizing it, is so important to their upbringing. Even after they have finished a time-out, we have our little talk, and I always end it with “I love you.” Always.
Showing appropriate affection as they grow teaches them appropriate ways to express love. Those ways will change as they get older and as their personalities develop. There will come a time when they will not want any hugs or kisses, but I can still tell them I love them. I can be there for them always, no matter what kind of mistakes they will surely make. When they get older, have their own families, they will know how to treat their wives and their children. And that is why it is important to teach them from the time they are born. That love, nurturing, and affection affects them for the rest of their lives, and in return, it affects the lives of others.