20 Ways to Show Love for a Child

love for a child - mum and daughter cuddling

There are many do’s and don’ts when parenting through separation. They include minimising the disruption to your children’s routines and protecting them from visible conflict. We must also ensure our kids know how much we love them. 

This may seem an obvious point, and one you don’t need reminding of, thank you very much. After all, we all love our kids. But that’s just the point. In the aftermath of a divorce, ‘we’ know the love is still there, but do they?

Parental separation can tip a child’s fragile world on an axis. Things they had thought permanent are no longer so. They may even feel partly to blame for the situation. It can lead them to question what they had previously taken for granted, including the unwavering and unconditional love of their parents.

It's no surprise that kids are struggling too. In fact, we can't imagine how much this separation can affect their social interactions, health and emotional well-being.

Simply engaging, listening and playing with your children are ways of showing you love them. Yet, sometimes, we need some more inventive ways to show our true love.

Here are some simple ideas for showing affection to your kids that you may not have thought of yet—without the fuss.

Further reading: What's a condom? And other awkward questions.

Simple ways to show your child you love them

  • Put a love note in their lunch box. Or wrap their sandwich in cling wrap and write a message on it with a permanent marker pen. (Your teen will tell you it's cringe-worthy, but I swear they secretly love it. You be the judge!)
  • Have a secret code, an action that is special to the two of you. When my daughter and I hold hands, we squeeze hard twice to say ‘I love you’. A loving hug, a nod, or a touch that only the two of you know the meaning of will cement your parent-child friendship.
  • Give them a little love heart tattoo with a pen before they go to school, on a sleepover, or to their dad’s house. Many children will remember their parents' playful gesture of kindness for the rest of the day.
  • Cut their lunch sandwiches into heart shapes, use heart shapes for fried eggs and pancakes, or spell it out with raisins or Cheerios. This is one of the simplest yet most special treats you could ever give your kids.
  • Make them a playlist. Include Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars and other cool love songs. Add songs from their favourite artists or genres - something they didn't know, you know. You can also offer to cuddle with them as you listen together to the playlist for the first time.
  • Make up a song or saying to be said at certain times, which expresses the love you feel. My daughter won’t let me walk out of her room at night without saying, ‘Mummy loves you’ ... she’s nearly 13!
  • Read them The Invisible String by Patrice Karst. This book is full of warmth, and I believe it can help heal kids when they get hurt. Tell them to visualise a string from their heart to yours that conducts your love.
The Invisible String to show your kids you love them

Stockist: Booktopia

  • Buy them small surprise gifts. Nothing big, just something to give them reassurance even when you are not with them. It's hard to fail at this one - kids are very easy to please.
  • Have an affectionate nickname for them that is used as a term of endearment. When you use this name, they will feel loved and special. My daughter absolutely doesn't want strangers using her special nickname!
20 ways to show love for a child - mother playing with children

More wonderful ways for mums to show love for a child

  • Do they have a play chalkboard or whiteboard? Don’t miss this opportunity for a love message to greet them when they come home from school.
  • Magnetic letters, fridge … need I say more? I promise they're not just for kindergarten children. You probably already have them at home, too, so why not use them as a daily reminder to your kids of how mum's love feels like?
Magnetic fridge letters

Stockist: Big W

  • Make them cupcakes with love hearts, a big cake saying ‘I love you’, or heart-shaped biscuits. Children and adults alike love this kind of surprise.
  • Write them a heartfelt love letter and put it in the mailbox. Ask them to collect the mail that day or one week later. You'd want to thank them for their resilience amidst all the stress.
  • Pick them a flower or buy some. Let them know that giving someone flowers is a way of saying ‘I love you, ’showing compassion, and expressing gratitude. Consider getting a flower press for beautiful blooms that last forever.

More ways to show your love for a child

  • Do something random and unexpected (like letting them have cake for breakfast). When they ask why, say ‘because I love you’. Allowing them a little harmless autonomy may be all they need to feel understood and get through tough times. After all, kids should be kids.
  • Stock up on heart-shaped chocolates around Valentine’s Day and stick them in lunch boxes and pencil cases when a boost of love is required. Or use Swizzels Lovehearts.
Swizzels love hearts to show your kids you love them

Stockist: Big W

  • Buy them a love heart key ring to put on their school bag or pencil case. Or maybe something less girly for boys.
  • Draw a love heart on the bottom of their water bottle so they see it whenever they take a drink. (Obviously, this only works with clear water bottles.)
  • Print off a cool All You Need Is Love Poster and tear off love messages to give them when the need arises. You can also check out similar messages that will resonate with their personality—something that they won't find corny.
  • Tell it straight. I love you. Unconditionally. Anywhere, anytime. (Shout it at the school gates... unless they don't want this sort of PDA.)

Conclusion: The Power of Hugs, Friendship, and Unconditional Affection

The deep love and affection parents feel for their children are beautifully profound. Expressing this love through hugs, guidance, and compassion is essential. Parental love is truly unconditional, embodying the essence of true love. Embracing our children as they are and appreciating the love they bring into our lives is crucial. While parenting comes with its complexities, including moments of hurt and challenge, it also brings immense joy and selflessness. Let us cherish and celebrate the boundless love that defines the parent-child relationship.

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Beanstalk Single Mum Team

About the author

Beanstalk is run by a team of single mums who share their expertise about single motherhood to help other women on a similar journey to them. This article was written from experience and with love to help single mothers in Australia and across the world.

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