It is very obvious that making something for a child is a way to show that you love that child because when you make something for someone it is tangible. When you make something with a child, you are giving that child the most cherished gift of love; TIME!
Make doll clothes or toy cars for your little ones. Dads can make stuff for dolls and moms can make stuff for cars. This act of making something does not have to be something that is cast in nature. Just making simple things often is the best for communicating love!
On a particularly disappointing day in the life of a young one, make the child’s favorite meal. It is easy to get things mixed up and make their favorite meal when something just happened that was great. Sure, I get the idea about rewarding positive action, but when the goal is to let a child know that they are loved unconditionally, nothing works better than making something for a child when something disappointing has happened! We take our kids out to dinner following a home run or making the honor roll and then when something disappointing happens we often sort of desert our kids. But that I when we need to show up! This does not mean that we must approve of what caused the disappointment. It just tells the child that we are on their side and will be there when things are tough.
With just a little bit of thought and care we can turn this around!
Think about this, your child comes home with a bad grade on a paper at school or has had some other really disappointing event happen. Sensing that this is a very though time for the child, you prepare tacos, the child’s favorite meal, for dinner. Following dinner you walk into the child’s room and simply say, “Hey, looks like something went bad at school today. How about letting me on your team to see if we can find a solution to the problem. I love you and want you to know that no matter what, I am on your side! The special dinner said, “I love you,” in a very tangible way so that the following conversation could be received!
The act of making the favorite food is proof positive that you are not the enemy and that you are available to help. The food just might be the confirmation of love that the child needs to allow you to help!
There are so many ways to make things for children to just let them know that you love them. Parents can make tapes for them. As little ones, we can read their storybooks onto audiotapes for them so that they can listen to you reading to them while traveling or as they play in their rooms. We can sing songs onto tape for them. We can record them simply talking while they are young and let them listen to themselves a few years later as a clear demonstration to them of how much they have changed.
Making videotape works very well for communicating love to your children. Simply take videos of them playing or talking and then watch them together as they grow. It will show them how much they have grown and changed. “Edit” music onto the videotapes by purposely having a tape or CD playing in the background while you are shooting the video. The music will give them memories of their taste in music in the past, and by choosing the music carefully, parents can use the music to help create ideas in their children’s heads!
As children get older thoughtful parents can make tapes or CD’s of music for them to listen to while playing. In today’s world, so many parents become so angry about the quality of the music that is available for their children. However, families need not be victims of the recording industry! Technology can offer much more choice! With just a little bit of effort, we as parents can take an active role in the music our kids listen to, by simply recording music that our kids like but also music that meets with our own criterion of acceptability. Use those recordings to listen to while traveling in the car or while they play in the house. Tapes, CD's, Ipods, MP3 Players, and other modern technologies all offer great opportunities to teach children to actively choose what they listen to. And at the same time they will be receiving the message of love from their parents.
Just two days ago I watched as our son Drew and his wife Maura gave each of their four children their own personal CD player as a Christmas gift. With each player they gave each child a couple of CD’s that they had made from each child’s own personal music play list. You see, Drew and Maura have realized that music plays an important role in the lives of children and they also have realized that their children will listen to music... so as an act of love toward their children; they have begun the process of teaching their children to be discriminating in their choice of music. The CD’s that they have recorded with their children are carefully chosen selections of music that not only sound great to the kids but also the songs express ideas that they have discussed together with their children and that all have agreed are ideas that they would like to rule their worlds!
Check back soon for more ways to MAKE things for or with children as away of expressing love.