Love from family is typically the first kind of love that children experiences. It is important to always demonstrate the unconditional love that you have for them as well as teach them how to demonstrate and express that same type of love to each other. Reinforce concepts of family love by incorporating small, loving activities into your family's daily life.
Understanding Family Love
Help your kids better understand the concept of family love by reading children's books focused on family. For kids three and older, "Who's in a Family?" by Robert Skuch, teaches children that no matter what your family looks like, they are the people who love you the most. Another book to check out is "The Runaway Bunny," by Margaret Wise Brown, a classic story of unconditional love from a mother rabbit to her child. The book "What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best," by Laura Numeroff, demonstrates the love between siblings and the things they can do together.
Family Love Jar
Designate an empty glass jar as a family love jar. Each day, challenge everyone in the family to add one quick short note about someone else in the family. It could be a word of appreciation for doing something kind, or a "just because" note. At the end of each week, pour out the notes and let everyone read the notes addressed to them out loud. It is an opportunity to teach your family the importance of telling each other how much they love, respect and value each other. Everyone can keep or discard their love notes and the jar starts empty for the new week.
Put up a large sheet of paper somewhere in your home where in can stay up for a while. Write "Love is" at the top, then start the list off with a few examples of what love is for your family. This could be things like helping each other with chores, listening to mom and dad, and saying sorry. Leave the paper up and encourage your kids to write something down whenever they think of it. Discuss the list frequently and have the kids give examples of instances when they demonstrated their love to a family member based on the list.
Family Love Games
Play love tag, where instead of just tagging someone "it," the point is to give that family member a great big bear hug. When they hug someone, that person also becomes "it" and tries to hug other family members until everyone has been hugged. Another idea is to play the love hearts game. Hide pieces of paper with hearts on them throughout the house in visible places. Throughout the day, each person in the family tries to be the first to grab one when they spot it. Whoever has the most hearts at the end of the day wins, but they also must say something they love about a family member based on the amount of hearts they have.
- Who's in a Family?; Robert Skuch
- The Runaway Bunny; Margaret Wise Brown
- What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best; Laura Numeroff
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