Monday, February 28, 2011

Expressing LOVE to our Children

Several years ago, as I was preparing to teach a class on the "Five Love Languages of Children," written by Gary Chapman, I came up with my ownway of expressing love by turning the word, "Love" into an acronym. My next four posts will cover each letter of this most-important word.

L - Listen
O - Observe
V - Validate
E - Enjoy

What is "listening?" Listening is much more than hearing; it is an active way to communicate with another person. Active listening involves validating, confirming and rephrasing.

Parents and caregivers are so accustomed to guiding children, that we sometimes forget to listen to them. Below are some examples of ways to include active listening in your relationship with your child.

Child Says:  
Active Listening Response:

"She knocked down my tower!"  
You sound angry that your tower fell. What can you do? Would you like to talk to _________ about it?

"Me First!"  
Wow, you are really anxious to be the first one to have a snack. Let's think of a way to wait; do you have any ideas?

"You like him more"  
It sounds like you are feeling neglected. Would you like to tell me about it?

"I'm not bad"  
You spilled the paint. It sounds like you are feeling sad about that. Let's get it cleaned up together. We all make messes.

Active listening is an effective stabilizer of emotions and it also validates a person's feelings. We can teach our children how to be mature communicators as we actively listen to them.

Good luck working on this skill!

"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Love You To Pieces!!!

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
-Rachel Carson

This year, spend some quality time with your preschooler and make a personalized Valentine that your loved ones will treasure forever!

  •      “I Love You to Pieces” sign
  •             Camera
  •       Thick paper or cardboard
  •       Old Jigsaw puzzle pieces
  •       Glue
  •      Any other decorations that you would like


1)  Have your child hold the sign that says “I Love You to Pieces”. 

2)  Dress them in their best smile and take their picture.

3)  Develop the picture or pictures.  Make more than one and surprise all of the grandmas and grandpas.
4)  Glue the picture onto a thick piece of paper or cardboard that is a little larger than the picture. (or you can purchase matte frames from your local craft store)

5)  Decorate the border with old jigsaw puzzle pieces.  These could be glued on as is or painted. 

6) Jazz it up with any other decorations that make you happy.

7) Finally, hand deliver it to that special someone!

"The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a 
few minutes of their time each day."
                                                                                                  -M. Grundler

Image for "I Love You to Pieces" sign: