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Loving your family comes naturally to most of us. You love them and as a result, it shows through your actions. It’s my personal mission (and formerly my professional mission as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) to always be looking for ways to strengthen the relationships that surround me. This is me “giving it a go” at growing closer as a family. I want to encourage you to “give it a go,” too!
Obviously, there are 100’s of ways we can show our affection to those we love. But my hope is that these little actions may they offer some intentional moments that spread the love.
Physical Touch: Whether you are a big-time hugger, like me, or one that doesn’t prefer hugs as much, like my husband (LOL!), try giving each family member a hug today. It can be a side one, one that is a big bear hug, or even just a pat on the back as your child is doing her homework. Make it a point to hug every member of your family today. As children get older, this can fade away because teenagers don’t necessarily seek out their parent’s hugs. But I’ve found that if you initiate one, they really do notice them (and like them, regardless of what they say).
Handwritten Notes: One of the ways my husband would show me he loved me early on was by leaving notes; some short and some long. These represented that he had thought about me and I was significant to him. Make it a point to write notes to your family members today. These can be on a sticky note, napkin, or even the back of an old homework sheet. Write them a note and leave it where they will see it.
Step Into Their Space: The other night my 10-year-old daughter asked my husband to come to her room to play with her LOL dolls (are y’all into these at your home?). Though it comes easy for him to play cars with my son in his room, this felt like a stretch. But, he stepped into “her space” (i.e., her room) and played with her. All I could hear was laughing and having fun. This was a real, tangible way he showed her he loved her. Whether your child is 1 or 17, step into their “space.” Look around and spend some time with them in their world: read a book together, ask to see their latest calligraphy project, glance around at their pictures of their friends, and so on.
These are three practical ways that may already be a part of your life every now and then, but I challenge you to give them a go with each of your family members over the next few days.
If you are already doing these three things every day, what three ways would you share that you’d like to show how love your family in different ways?