By: Ruchita Robinson
Teaching Children About Love
Children experience love and care from parents from the moment they are born. Love is respecting and loving your parents, love is being patient and kind to your children, love is giving money to the poor and needy, love is forgiving a loved one who hurt you, and love is being there for your friends when they need you.There is no single definition of love and neither can you confine its expression to one way. Teaching kids about love helps them develop a lot of other virtues like kindness and giving, which are beneficial for their well-being and happiness. Not to forget that love is the foundation every relationship they have or will have in future. You can teach them about love through different activities that help them express and share their love with others. Here are some ideas for teaching children about love:
Craft for a loved one
Encourage your child to express their love for friends and family through handmade cards or any craft they want to make. If the child is not good at expressing love or appreciation verbally, this can be a good way to help them express their feelings. You do not need a special occasion to be creative. It can be anytime they want to convey their love, thankfulness, or good wishes to a loved one. For younger children, you can help them out by writing a small note for the person and sticking it to their card. Read the stories of love and friendship Children love stories which make it an easy way for parents to teach them morals or lessons.
Read your child bedtime stories about love and friendship
You can get them books like "You: A Story of Love and Friendship," by Stephen Michael King, "Loving One Another: Beginner's Stories About Being a Good Friend," by Neta Jackson, Winnie-the-Pooh, Elephant and Piggie. Ask them about their favourite characters and the reasons they like them. You can also ask them about how they can display the same qualities to the people around them.
Help them experience the joy of giving
Giving is a beautiful form of selfless love where the one who gives feels happier than the other who receives. Encourage your children to express their love and affection for the less fortunate people in the community. Take them along with you when you volunteer for certain activities to help those in need. You can also find volunteering opportunities that are appropriate for your children. Help them experience the joy of giving by donating their toys or clothes to the families or children in need.
Be it the beauty of a sunset, the kindness of a friend or a loving grandmother, teach your child to appreciate people and things around them. Ask your child about the different people he met and a loving quality they showed towards him. In this way, he will develop a habit of practising gratitude and expressing appreciation towards the good things in life. Talk to them about how different people can be from each other (e.g speaking a different language, belonging to a different age group or being disabled), but we should love and accept them like our own.
Play interactive games which teach about love
Engage your children in games which help them learn about the importance of love and friendship. You can play games like loving charades or friendship stealers. For friendship stealers, you can take them out in an open area or a playground. Two children are ‘friendship stealers’ and the other children must stand on one side of the ground. They need to run to the other safe side without being tagged by the friendship stealers. The child who gets tagged by them remains frozen until he is tagged again by his team friend. In this way, the kids learn to remind each other about never leaving a friend behind.
Showing love for the environment around us
Plant a tree, clean trash outside the house, separate the waste and get ideas to recycle it - caring for the environment is a way of converting our verbal love into actions. By teaching kids to care about their surroundings, you are inculcating a love for the greater good of humanity. Teach them about how we can show our love to people, animals and nature by looking out for their requirements and ensuring that they are healthy and happy.
Make a list of loved ones
Ask your children to make a list of the people he loves. Then ask him to make a list of the people who love him. Use this list to tell him about how many people love and care for him. Take this opportunity to explain the infinity of love. Despite the fact that we love so many people and they love us back, love never gets exhausted or finished. Tell them about how they can give and receive as much love as they want. Love has no end and we always have a limitless supply of love in our hearts.