Ways to Make Your Child Feel Loved

Showing Love to Your Child

A.K.A. Ways to Show Your Child You Love Them!

Knowing how to show unconditional love to your child so they grow up knowing how loved they are is one of the many parenting mysteries that all parents wish they had a manual for. Unfortunately, each child is different. On top of that, society tells you about 1 million different things! The truth is, parenting is a tough gig. {A beautiful and wonderful one, for sure, but definitely a tough one too!} There are so many things I’m still trying to figure out. However, over the last 4 kids and 9 years of motherhood, I’ve figured out some pretty monumental ways to show love to my children unconditionally. Wanna know what they are? (Buckle up, moms and dads! You’ll wanna take notes on this one!) Today, I’m sharing with you 10 mind-blowing parenting strategies for showing love to your child.

Ways to Make Your Child Feel Loved

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Before we dive in, wanna know what THE most important question we should ask ourselves as parents?! Brace yourselves…

Does your child feel loved?

That’s it! That’s the BIG question. If your child feels loved – you’re doing an awesome job! (As for how to show unconditional love to your child, we’ll get into that in just a second!) Sure, there are lots of other parenthood responsibilities. However, this is the grand-daddy of them all. I think we often get caught up in making sure we are disciplining, teaching, and providing for our children. Above all, we need to make sure all of that is centered around LOVING those cute kids of ours! And the truth is, that’s what parenthood is all about. Not only is it important for your child, but it also makes your job as a parent a lot easier.

 As Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell said in their book, The 5 Love Languages of Children,

“The prime cause of anger and misbehavior is an empty love tank.”

Pam Leo explains this really well…

“Keeping children’s love cup (emotional fuel tank) filled is the key to effective parenting. When children feel loved and connected, they care about what we need and feel. It is only when children care about what we need and feel that they respond to parental guidance. When children are low on emotional fuel, they become anxious, stressed, and angry.”

MIND-BLOWING, right? This is true whether you have a toddler, teenager, or an adult child! {Trust me, I asked my mom and, with 8 kids of her own, she knows what she’s talking ’bout.}

But HOW Do We Show Love to Our Child?

I’m sure we all love our children more than life itself. But for some reason, it doesn’t always translate the way we intend. And there’s a BIG difference between knowing your parents love you and actually feeling their love.

Let’s face it, life is BUSY and stressful and it’s easy to get preoccupied and sidetracked. Kids can be crazy, and loud, and it’s easy to get impatient and lose your temper. We all know that we’re not supposed to yell and that kids need praise and compliments. In reality, this is not always as easy as it sounds. Throw in a couple of extra kids and it’s especially difficult to make sure each child feels special and individually loved. That’s why today I’m here to help you with the most important part of your parenting job by sharing…

10 Ways to Show Your Child You Love Them

These are sure-fire, tried-and-true ideas that we personally use in our home and that we’ve found work wonders for how to show unconditional love to your child! I recommend taking notes on these 10 ideas and seeing which ones you can implement immediately! With a little extra effort, I’m sure you’ll notice a difference in your relationship with your child in just a matter of days. Now, lets jump in to how to show unconditional love to your child in 10 easy ways!

1. Mom & Dad Dates

When I asked my 8-year old daughter what makes her feel the most loved, her immediate answer was, “A daddy-daughter date. Or, a mommy-daughter date.” It really didn’t surprise me since that was what made me feel the most loved as a child. Quality one-on-one time just makes a huge difference!

Mini Mom and Dad Ice Cream Date

It’s true what they say, love for kids is really spelled T-I-M-E. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do or fit into our busy schedules. Luckily, a Mom or Dad date doesn’t have to be a big, fancy affair. All it takes it a little intentional effort to set aside some time just for them.

And, even better news, we have something for you that makes this even easier for you to pull-off… Introducing the Mini Mom & Dad Dates Kit! This printable kit seriously have everything you need to start the tradition of Mom and Dad Dates with your child. {And can I just say, our designer Alexa totally out-did herself making it over-the-top adorable too!} If you haven’t already checked it out, you NEED to! It includes little invitations to leave out for your child, survey questionnaires to find out what they want to do, a date night bucket list to write down all of your date ideas together, a schedule to plan and set aside time, 5 planned-for-you mini dates, and MORE! I showed it to my daughters as soon as I saw it, and I’m still not sure who is more excited about it, me or them!

Schedule a date with your child THIS week! By showing your child love through a parent-child date, chances are, it will become a highlight to your week. Not to mention, it can become a lasting tradition both you and your child look forward to!

2. Start a Parent-Child Notebook

One of the very best things I’ve EVER done as a mother is start a special “Mommy & Me” notebook with my daughter. All I did was grab a composition notebook and wrote her a note. I told her that it was OUR secret notebook so we could talk about anything we wanted; how our day went, something we were worried or excited about, a funny joke … anything! Then, I told her to write me back and put it on my pillow on my bed when she was done. We’ve been writing back and forth to each other for over a year now and we’ve talked about everything under the sun! #ParentingWin AND I had no idea when I started it just how helpful it would be to strengthening my relationship with her.

Cute Parent Child Journal Covers

This has become a way to show love to my child unlike any other. The letters I cherish the most are the ones where she has opened up to me and come to me for advice or help. When she felt left out at her new school, she wrote and asked for advice on how to make friends. When people at school were being mean to another classmate, she wanted to know how to find the courage to stick up for him. Anything that’s on her mind, she tells me. And I love it! I figure that if I want her to talk to me as a teenager, we better start the habit now.

And guess what?! The Mini Mom & Dad Dates Kit also includes printable parent-child notebook covers! {Because making them cute is half the fun!}

If you want to show unconditional love to your child through frequent and open communication, this is an EXCELLENT way to do just that!

3. After School Questions

Another parenting tool that I love for opening up communication with my kids is our After School Question Jar. I learned very quickly that just asking, “How was your day?” usually just got a short reply of, “Good.” For whatever reason, sometimes getting information out of your kids is like pulling teeth. But it doesn’t have to be if you get good at asking specific, intentional questions and turn it into a daily game.

Questions Jar for Talking With Your Child

Every day after I pick up my kids from school, I ask them each 3 questions. {You can download the questions cards we use here.} For example…

  • What did you do to help someone today?
  • Who is someone at school who needs a friend?
  • Which friend did you play with at recess today?
  • Who did you eat lunch with today?
  • Tell me something that made you laugh today.
  • At what time were you happiest today?
  • Did you have a time that you were frustrated today?
  • When were you bored today?

It’s become a daily ritual, and sometimes we don’t even use the jar. Not every question leads to a long conversation. Sometimes they just give a simple one sentence answer. However, sometimes it leads to them sharing a worry or concern that we can talk about, or even a happy success that we can celebrate together. There are often little teaching moments in our after-school time together that I wouldn’t have found if I wasn’t asking questions and listening.

And, most of all, my kids know that I care about the little details of their life!

Take a few minutes after school to show your child you love them by asking them some intentional, thoughtful questions. You won’t ever regret it!

4. P.I.E. Night

Another tradition that my kids love is our P.I.E. night. P.I.E. stands for Personal Interviews for Everyone. One Sunday a month, we do one-on-one interviews with each of our kids in our bedroom. We call them in one by one for some quality talking time with Mom and Dad. {A parenting trick I got from my own parents!} Now I say “interview,” but it’s really more like a conversation. With 4 little kids, it can be hard to give each one our attention individually, so this allows us to set aside time where they each have our undivided attention. Usually, we let them lead the conversation and talk about whatever they’d like, but we’ll often throw in our own questions, too. “Is there anything you’re worried about?” or “Is there anything we can help you with?”

Interview Night with Child

And, of course, their favorite part of P.I.E. night is that while we’re talking, they get to eat a big ol’ slice of pie! Because, well, what’s P.I.E. night without some pie? *Wink! Besides, it makes it something fun that they really look forward to, and I like that there’s excitement and happiness associated with our conversations. Our youngest is only 18-months-old, and he really can’t do much talking yet, but he still runs in excitedly when it’s his turn because he knows he gets to eat something delicious and spend some time alone with Mom and Dad. {Sometimes, we’ll replace the pie with brownies or cookies or cake or ice cream – just to switch things up.}

Try having a special P.I.E. Night in your home! Make it your own and establish your own traditions. One thing will for sure occur when you do these though, and that is that your child (or children) will feel a lot of love!

5. Special Days

Another tradition that has made a big difference in showing love to our children is giving them “Special Days.” We give each child their own special day of the week. Our oldest has Monday, our second has Tuesday, our third has Wednesday, and our last has Thursday. (Friday is OUR day for date night and Saturday and Sunday are family days.) On their special day, they don’t have to do chores AND they get an extended bedtime! They love getting to stay up a little longer after their siblings go to bed. Sometimes, on really busy nights, that only means 15 extra minutes, but they love it just the same. We try to use that extra time to give them hugs, and chat, and make sure they are feeling loved.  It’s sort of like built-in-cuddle time.

Mother and Daughter Cuddling

Before we started these “Special Days,” bedtime was a serious struggle (think crying, frustration, and endless requests for “just one more drink of water”). But now they know that if they want to stay up on their special night, they have to go to bed on time without complaint – and it works like a charm. Plus, I love that only a little bit of extra time makes such a big difference in how loved they feel. You might have to adjust this idea a little bit to work for your family size, but it’s definitely an easy idea for how to show unconditional love to your child worth trying out!

6. Leave Them Love Notes

Love notes are definitely NOT just for your sweetheart. Leaving love notes for my children has made them feel unconditionally loved in a way I didn’t even realize! There have been several times I’ve found a few of the love notes I’ve left my children stashed away in a drawer or a special box of theirs. Talk about heart melting! Love notes can be so simple, too! Just grab a sticky note and write one or two things you’re proud of your child for.

Kids Sticky Note Prints

These DARLING Kids Printable Sticky Notes are PERFECT for leaving for your child any time! When they open their lunch, backpack, or bedroom door, they’ll instantly feel LOVED knowing you took the time to leave a love note for them. PLUS, these printable sticky notes include sweet, interactive, AND funny options. Make your child laugh today with one of these!

7. Create “Open When” Letters for Your Child

Showing love to your child day to day is important, but it’s especially important when they’re going through something BIG in their life. When your child is approaching a big milestone (think moving up a grade, starting a new hobby, or even going through something hard) how impactful would it be to receive a letter from their mom and/or dad? An “Open When” letter is when you prepare a letter for your child in advance of them going through or doing something. The letter is designed to make them feel EXTRA loved, extra supported, and extra special.

Open When Letter for Child

Not only have I been the beneficiary of these types of letters, I started giving them to my kids when they were as young as 5! My soon-to-be-kindergarteners received a letter from me sharing with them how excited I was for them to start school! I shared with them how proud I was of them to be doing something brave, for showing me and their dad how responsible they are, and of course how I can’t wait to see them learn many amazing things! Several of my children have shared with me how meaningful these letters were to them (a few even bragged to their friends that “My mom is the best! She writes me letters!”)

This “Open When” Letters Kit is SO helpful in creating letters for every situation your kids might go through in a snap BUT with heartfelt intention and love. You should definitely check out the 25 different letter prompts! These prompts are easy to follow and simple to prep PLUS they can be written for children at any age. Your children will feel your undeniable love from you with a set of these letters!

8. Cheer Your Child On

We all know the feeling of having cheerleaders in the crowd of your big game, star performance, or simply a recognition or honor. It feels SO good! It’s no surprise that just as adults appreciate the love and support of family members at their big events, so do kids! In fact, it almost means MORE to them. If you want to know how to show unconditional love to your child, attend their their games, performances, or ceremonies and cheer them on. It’s a seamlessly easy thing to do: Just be there. Be there to cheer, clap loudly, and squeeze them tightly when they come off the field, court, or stage. Being present for those big accomplishments will be a memory they keep with them always!

Family Cheering

Take it a step further and let your child know you’ll ALWAYS be there to cheer them on, in person or in spirit. While you might not be able to make it to every single game or event, TELLING them you’re their biggest cheerleader will stay with them. I remember proudly sitting in the audience for some of my children’s simplest performances and ceremonies through grade school. It wasn’t much of a big deal outside those walls, but to my children, it meant EVERYTHING that I was there.

Cheering on your child is a way to show them you love them in a public way, so try to do that as often as you can!

9. Tuck Them In

Yep, it’s much easier said than done when all you want to do is clock out of parenting duties at the end of the day. But I will testify that taking the few minutes to tuck in your child at bedtime is an easy way to show unconditional love to them AND end their day making them feel their best.

Tucking In Your Child

As you whisper “sweet dreams” to your child as you tuck them into their sheets at night, you’re basically saying to them “I love you so much!” You’ll fill their love tank to the brim as you also give them a kiss, hug them tightly, and even tell them something you’re proud they did that day.

Even if your child is old enough to put themselves to bed, those few minutes of connection you could make with your older child and even teenager will make a difference to their entire day. It could be the chance they have to open up to you about something, to share a hardship they’re going through or a total win they had that day. As they get older, maybe they’ll stay up later than you even will, but you coming to them to say goodnight and connect once more before a new day will start the next day off on the right foot.

10. Celebrate with Them

Scored a goal during the game? Go out for ice cream! Got an A on their latest spelling test? Let them pick out a new toy! It’s their birthday and they’re old enough to drive? Go big and throw a party! Celebrating the big AND little things in your child’s life will make them feel unconditionally loved year round.

Celebrating Child's Birthday

Children love parties, especially all about them. So when feasible, throw that party and spoil their sweet little faces off! Just remember that the size of the party doesn’t demonstrate the amount of love you have for them. Simply celebrating that accomplishment or milestone with pure intention in ANY way will demonstrate that you love them tons!

Consider asking them HOW they want to celebrate that special day or accomplishment OR give them options. Giving them some say in the matter can also be part of the celebration and will help them feel involved.

I once gave my almost 5 year old the choice of celebrating her birthday in one of three ways: 1. A party with her friends at our home, 2. A night out as a family to wherever she wanted, or 3. Inviting a friend of her choice to go get their nails done at a nail salon. She spent many days debating each of these three choices, building excitement and hype over every option. She ultimately decided to take one friend with her to the nail salon and it was probably the best day of her life to date. Her being involved gave her so much more JOY in the celebration, and I was beyond happy to witness her excitement over it.

These 10 ideas above have been game-changers for showing my children I love them.

And, just for fun, here are some…

Other Ways I show Love to My Children

  • When running an errand (if it’s possible) I bring just one of the children along.
  • I ask for their input on something, like what I should make for dinner or what they think we should do for fun.
  • Hiding notes in their lunches or backpacks.
  • Calling them by a special nickname.
  • Buying us matching clothes or wearing our matching necklaces.
  • Putting one of them in charge of planning family night.
  • Asking in a family meeting for their ideas.
  • Throwing a family slumber party and letting them pick the snack.
  • Picking out a special song that is just for one of them and now it’s “our” song.
  • Framing pictures they draw for me. 
  • Leaving surprises on their bed.
  • Acting silly and dancing with them.
  • Writing to them in our special journals.
  • Reading to them.
  • Playing the “I love you more than ______” game.
  • Telling others, including their grandparents, how smart they are.
  • Stopping working to just PLAY with them.
  • Praying for them.

Showing love to your child might not come easily all the time, but with this list of ideas, it will soon become effortless! I highly recommend incorporating as many of these ideas as possible into your parenting arsenal because, well, children grow up so fast!

In case you need even MORE help fulfilling any of the ideas above, check out these fantastic Lunch Box Love Notes (perfect for throwing into your kiddos lunch boxes) AND this Family Conversation Starters Pack (for creating a stronger, closer family!) Both are excellent ways to improve the love between you and your kids throughout your home!

Do YOU have any tried-and-true ideas that you use to make sure your children feel loved? Please share them with us in the comments below! 

About the Author: Becca

Besides my hilariously witty husband, I love a good book, sappy songs, old black-and-white movies, cute crafts, and all things chocolate. I have four (seriously adorable) little kiddos at home and they definitely keep life at home FUN!

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25 Responses to Ways to Make Your Child Feel Loved

  1. Love that you use Parenting with Love and Logic! My parents raised me and my siblings with it and swear by it, I guess that’s why I turned out so good 😉 I want to buy 5 Love Languages for Children right now!!!

  2. I LOVED this post! I was scrolling Pinterest and as a Happy Grandmother thought I’d check this out.
    I adored and loved ( still do) my 5 children,now 30-37. between the 5, I now have 7 Grandchildren that light up my life ,and Grandpas 😉 !
    This post is wonderful for continuing and updating parenting communication with adult children (We still want one on one ,don’t we?) and for Grandparenting!!
    Traditions like these here run deep,last and last!

    Thanks! Grandma Becka AKA,Rebekah

    1. SO glad that you loved it and that you found us! {And by the way, great name!} 😉 I look forward to being a grandma one day. You can bet I’ll still be looking for one on one time with my kids too. What a great grandma you are. XOXO

  3. Wow! I feel like if I implement these things I’ll be the mom I’ve always wanted to be.

    Questions: What do you do with the other kids while one child is with mom and dad for PIE night? (mine are 5,3, and 1)

    1. We usually put a kid movie on in the room next door. It works out fine for us since our one-on-one time with mom and dad is actually pretty short. Just enough time to eat a piece of pie and talk. Then we send them out to go get the next kid. They know the routine and that they get pie if they are good so it works great. Hope that helps! 🙂

  4. Thank you for this!!! I am a single mom of my now 11 year old daughter. She is going through the pre teen stage & every day is not a wonderful day. She is my life & I love hearing ideas I can incorporate into our lives.

  5. I have been feeling overwhelmed and trying to find ways to spend more meaningful time in our crazy lives and these ideas are perfect. Thank you so much for a great post !

  6. Love this article so much! I’m always second guessing myself wondering if my kids actually feel loved. Can’t wait to implement these ideas! Thank you 💕💜