Taking advantage of the arrival of the day known as the day of love, Valentine’s Day, the perfect occasion is approaching to ask children about love. If you wonder how to explain to your child what love is, this is the post that will give you the keys to achieving it.
Although the best way to explain love to children is to lead by example and be loving and kind to those around us, we can also talk about it as if it were something foreign to us, but that is worth understanding and putting into practice.
Explaining love to children does not mean sitting on the sofa and talking to them for two hours about an idea, a feeling or an abstract thought. An excellent way to explain what love is is to show how good it is to help the other, share a toy, express what they feel and understand the other.
Hand in hand with love is respect. Respecting the other means accepting him as he is. Avoid using derogatory comments such as “You are useless” as that can make the child think that it is not worth defending themselves or that the right thing to do is treat others badly. Being loving and respectful not only with the child but with your partner, family and friends is a good way to teach what love is.
So, the keys to explaining love are::
- Keep it simple: Scott Carroll, a children’s psychiatrist and physician says, “The key is to use concrete words and examples that they can understand and recognize that the model of love is how a person treats them. Love is when you really care about someone or something.”
- Putting words into action: Ken Dolan, a family therapist, recommends explaining love through gestures such as a hug, for example: “Give your child a big hug and ask: How are you feeling right now? They can say that happiness or feeling good are the feelings we have when we feel loved and when we love others. Love is dedication and wanting the other to feel good and happy.
- Show them that love is not “spent”. Elisabeth Stitt recommends: “An excellent exercise to explain that love has no limits is to use the analogy of a candle flame, which glows brightly. Even after being used to light another candle, and another, and another, and another.”
- Explain it through pets. Love is caring for the other, love is helping the most vulnerable beings. Taking care of him, feeding him, taking him out for a walk are gestures of love.
- Letting it flow. Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Will Eno explains that children already know what love is, and when they really feel it, they’ll know they’re experiencing it.
We can explain love in many ways. With words, gestures, actions. But love, that feeling that goes through actions and replicates them. Your son will know what love is because he is nourished by it day by day. Meanwhile, you will be there to explain one of the most beautiful mysteries of life.