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How To Teach Kids About Love On Valentine’s Day

How To Teach Kids About Love On Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day 2023, we are talking all things (you guessed it) love! We have put together a quick guide focusing on why, what, when and how you can teach your kids about love.

Why It’s Important To Teach Kids About Love

Expressing, feeling and sharing love is key to raising happy, confident and emotionally intelligent kids. Love is a virtue that tots should learn early on. But where to begin? This short guide is a good place to start.

Mother cuddling children

At what age does a child understand love?

From as young as six months old, babies are able to recognise the people who love and care for them, like parents and grandparents. This will evolve as they grow and by about nine months, many babies start to fear being apart from the people they love, which is known as separation anxiety.

How do you explain love to a child?

Keep it simple! Tell them that loving someone means that you care a lot about them, so you do everything you can to look after them and keep them happy and safe. It’s also important to teach them about the different kinds of love, such as familial love, friendship, self-love and romance. Teach them that love comes in all shapes and sizes and that all love should be celebrated! Nurturing their emotional development and understanding of love will have a positive domino effect as they go on to live their lives and pass on their wisdom in the future.

Fathers with baby

How do I show my child love and affection?

Different kids crave love in different ways, so showing them affection is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What you want to do is figure out their love language. Dr Gary Champan’s 5 Love Languages theory involves the idea that we all experience love in one of five ways:

1. Physical Touch: Lots of cuddles and kisses

2. Words Of Affirmation: Telling them how much you love them

3. Quality Time: Spending time together as a family

4. Gifts: That are thoughtful and personal

5. Acts Of Service: From helping them with their homework to making a special brekkie

A simple way to find this out is by asking them two simple questions. The conversation could go something like this…

Parent: “You know I love you, don’t you?”

Child: “Yes I do!”

Parent: “But how do you know?”

Child: “Because you fixed my broken toy yesterday.”

This response tells you that Acts Of Service is your littlen’s love language.

How do I teach my child love and kindness?

There are lots of ways you can encourage your child to love and be kind to both themselves and those around them. Here are 5 top tips to get you started.

Be a role model: Actions speak louder than words! Make sure your kids know that their home is full of love and always do your best to show warmth, kindness and patience in all aspects of family life - not an easy feat mid-toddler tantrum, we know! Hugs, kisses and snuggles are all so simple, but can have a big impact on helping kids feel loved and show love to others.

Mother and children

Listen and empathise: If your youngster has something they want to talk to you about, down tools and listen actively, especially if the conversation involves their emotions. Show them that you’re listening by using non-verbal gestures like nods of the head and eye contact. It will help them feel heard, while also teaching them how to listen, empathise and demonstrate kindness when chatting with their friends.

Eat together: Food is love, right? Sharing a wholesome family meal together gives you the chance to chat with your kids in a relaxed setting. Show them that you care by asking questions. But keep them specific to avoid one-word answers! Things like what they did at school today or what they’re looking forward to doing at the weekend perhaps. Dinnertime gives you the opportunity to connect and communicate as a family - two fundamental aspects of love.

Invite gratitude into their daily routine: Every night before your littlen falls into a peaceful slumber, make a habit of telling each other one thing you are grateful for from that day. Share whatever you like, small or big, from a yummy lunch to the loving home you live in. Gratitude is proven to boost feelings of optimism, love and happiness in kids, especially when practised regularly.

Family in bed

Praise their efforts: Focus on effort-based praise as opposed to achievement-based. The idea is to praise the process (say, if they worked really hard at something), rather than how impressive the result was. Also, sharing specifics makes this kind of praise even more powerful. Saying things like “I really love the colours you chose for that picture”, rather than “You’re the best person at colouring-in ever!” is more sincere and believable. Telling children how proud you are of them is great for their self-confidence and will help them grow into loving and emotionally-mature adults.

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Kids

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be limited to romantic relationships! It’s a great excuse to celebrate love as a family and remind your tiny toys how much you love them. If you want to surprise your kiddo with a little something to unwrap this year, these childrens valentines gifts and activities should put a big smile on their face!

Country Play Kitchen

Valentines Crafts For Kids

Don't miss our new Valentine's Day Activity Sheets, where you can learn how to make an origami heart, a flower bouquet or a spiral heart card.

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