I was talking to a friend from high school who recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl. As we were talking about family and child rearing matters, she suddenly said something about making sure that she says “I love you” to her daughter and that she teaches her daughter to say it back.
I was slightly taken aback because I had taken it for granted. Isn’t that what all families do? Don’t we all say “I love you” to our parents? Don’t all our children say “I love you” to us?
Apparently, I couldn’t be more wrong! There are parents who, despite their enormous love for their kids, are just “not the type” to verbally say “I love you.” I find this sad – no, tragic. I have experienced the greatest love in my family and I aim to provide the same for my own children. I do not want a barrier to exist between us – a barrier of not being able to say “I love you” outright.
What if you just feel uncomfortable saying the words aloud? You cannot be blamed for that. Maybe, you can start out with baby steps. First do it in writing. Give your child a card or a note just because and then write “I love you.” After a while, try saying the words themselves. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is. Go on, say those magic words…