How are you and your family celebrating love today? How are your children learning to love today – and every day?
Love is much more than character education. In the Bible, Jesus commands us to love. Love is the “glue” that helps us build close healthy relationships with others in all areas of their lives, family, friends, community, and work.
Children hear “I love you” daily and they begin to understand the feelings and the actions that go along with this trait. The way they will learn to practice love is hidden in our day-to-day actions and interactions. As they watch us, they emulate and begin to experience the emotions for themselves that those behaviors cause.
Here are some fun ways to discuss and learn about love any time of the year:
- Make a list of people you love and people who love you – include family members and friends. Turn it into a photo album and ask your children to draw their pictures and/or write stories about them.
- Reminisce about the loving qualities they’ve noticed the people on your list display. Add these memories to the album.
- Discuss the idea of love being limitless – no matter how many people we love, there is always more love in our hearts. Love is endless to receive and endless to give.
- Talk about unconditional love. We should love ourselves and each other whether we are happy or sad and be patient and forgiving even when someone makes a mistake. This is called unconditional love because we love each other under all conditions.
- Come up with a list of creative ways we can show love to others – like greeting someone respectfully, being a good listener, opening the door for someone, comforting boo boos, sending greeting cards or singing a comforting song. Role play your ideas.
- The sign for “I love you” in American Sign Language is the pinky finger, index finger, and thumb pointed straight up (with the middle two fingers held down to the palm). Teach your children this sign to tell each other how much you love each other.
Whatever you do, hug your family often, have fun, and make memories. I wish you a happy and blessed Valentine’s Day.