Why you should say "I love you" to your children – and your partner

Knowing that we are loved - and that others love us – is vital for our wellbeing. Take some time out to tell the most important people in your life how you feel about them!

When you’re busy and frazzled, trying to run a household, and often trying to work too, life can get on top of you. Attempting to balance everything leads to frustration and disappointment – your children don’t help you enough, your husband doesn’t realise just how tricky your life is, and your work colleagues have no real understanding of your other priorities.

But every so often, take a step back and try to do something very small. Appreciate what you have and let the important people in your life know that you appreciate them as well. Ignore any suggestions of clichés, and tell your children and your partner “I love you!” It’ll do you all good.

The importance of saying those three words

Some people find it incredibly difficult to show emotion, even (or especially) to those closest to them. But knowing that we are loved - and that others love us – is vital for our wellbeing. Despite the stresses and realities of everyday life, knowing that there are some people that care, whether it’s a baby who smiles and coos when you come home from work, or a husband who kisses you for no reason at all, can make all the difference to how you feel.

It’s also great for your children if they hear you saying “I love you” to their Daddy. This should make them feel comfortable with emotion and hopefully help them to grow up to value the importance of love.

Don’t be scared of rejection

Tell those who matter why they matter. Don’t be scared of doing so. You can always start with a note or card. Writing it down could make you feel better, and also break the ice if your loved ones aren’t used to you showing emotion.

Don’t expect too much in return

You may be an open person who’s keen to proclaim their love, but it’s not great to always expect an immediate response from the person you’re telling. Your child or husband may be less forthcoming than you. There’s no harm in letting them know how much it would mean to you if they told you something special. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to say it all the time. Take their personalities into account.

You should also try not to attach a demand to your statement of love. Don’t tell your children that you’ll love them if only they tidy their room or help you clear up the dishes. Although they do still need boundaries, your children, especially when they’re young, should know that you love them, full stop.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some top tips for showing love to your child.

1. Use plenty of positive words. Try to avoid using sarcasm. 
2. Make plans to spend time alone with your young child or teen, doing something he or she enjoys 
3. Make an extra effort to set a good example at home or in public. Use words like “I’m sorry”, “please”, and “thank you.”. 
4. Help your child to foster positive relationships with friends, siblings and members of the community. 
5. One of your most important gifts as a parent is to help your child develop self-esteem. Children need your steady support and encouragement to discover their strengths. They needs you to believe in them as they learns to believe in themselves. Loving them, spending time with them, listening to them and praising their accomplishments are all part of this process.

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