One day, while riding home with one of my co-workers, he confessed that he was having trouble relating to his daughter.
“She says I don’t love her,” he said. “I work hard everyday to make sure that she has everything she needs. What more does she want from me?’
“She wants more of you,” I said.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
For several weeks, my co-worker had been volunteering for overtime assignments. Each day he’d arrive at work at 7AM and wouldn’t leave until 9 or 10pm.
“I know that you’ve been working all of those hours to make a better life for your family,” I said. “But all your daughter sees is your absence. She wants her daddy.”
He thought about my words for a minute and said, “Maybe you’re right. I probably need to take some time off.”
Many men are in the same boat as my coworker. They feel as if providing for their family is the only thing they need to do to show their love for their family. But kids need so much more from their fathers. In addition to tending to their physical needs, dads must care for their children’s emotional needs also.
If you’re confused about how to meet these needs, here are 5 simple ways to let your kids know how much you love them.
5 Simple Ways to Show Your Kids How Much You Love Them 1 of 6
Click through to discover 5 simple ways to show you love.
Spend time with them 2 of 6
Children equate time with love. Spend as much time with your kids as you can. It is the most precious gift you can give them. Play games with them, attend their programs and sporting events, take them out for ice cream. These are the moments that they will remember the most. Cherish them while you can.
Leave notes where they can find them 3 of 6
During the school year, I make a point to leave notes in my kids lunch boxes, backpacks, and coat pockets. They are always pleasantly surprised to find the notes of encouragement. It only takes a few minutes to write a special note for your child, but she will treasure it for a lifetime. Sending your child an affectionate or funny text message during the day is another way to show him that you're thinking of him.
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Buy them a special gift 4 of 6
I'm not advocating buying your children's love. However, I am encouraging you to give your kids a surprise gift from time to time. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be something that shows you were specifically thinking of them. My son loves to read comic books. Periodically, I'll stop by the comic book store and buy him one of his favorite titles. This $3 investment not only makes him happy, but it also strengthens our bond.
Forgive them when they make a mistake 5 of 6
It's easy to get angry and punish a child when he makes a mistake. But sometimes, what he really needs is a little understanding and a lot of forgiveness. While disciplining your child is an appropriate way to demonstrate your love, your child will probably respond more graciously to your grace and mercy. When you show forgiveness to your children, they will be more apt to forgive you when you make a mistake.
Tell them 6 of 6
I mentor a group of teenage boys. During a discussion, one of the boys said that he couldn't remember the last time his father said, "I love you." He went on to say that he knows his dad loves him, but it would be nice to hear the words periodically. You may not think you need to say, "I love you," but your kids need to hear it. Frequently, tell your children how much you love them. Your words will make them feel safe and secure.