Five Simple Ways to Show Your Child “I Love You”


Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love that can last all year long. Why not use this love-ly holiday to kickstart new ways to show kids how much you care? Don’t save it for Feb. 14! Use these tips any time or all the time. Here are five simple ways to show children that they are well-loved.

Balloon Forest

For just about $1 each, pick up some helium balloons in the evening (they don’t stay inflated for more than 24 hours). Attach heart-shaped notes to the ends of the strings describing one thing you love about your child. Sentiments might include, “I love the way you laugh when we watch cartoons together” or “I love how kind you are to our neighbors when you see them outside.” Put the balloons outside his bedroom door. He’ll wake up to a colorful forest of balloons and heartfelt messages he can keep forever. To protect the environment, don’t release latex balloons into the sky.


With a marker, write a loving message directly on a banana, or create a colorful sticker message for oranges, apples, or pears. Draw hearts, a funny picture, or a simple message of love and sneak the fruit into a lunchbox. When hunger strikes, your child will not only get a healthy snack, but also warm feeling that lasts the whole day.

Video Magic

How many times do we take videos of the kids and forget to include ourselves? Turn your phone around and record one (or a series of) brief video messages for your child. Talk about a beloved memory, a hope for the future, or simply list all the qualities you love about your child. Save them for moments when the child may need a little boost, or just because. Depending on the age of the child, you can text the videos or watch them together on a computer. Don’t forget to say, “I love you.”

Hero Day

Does your child idolize an athlete, an actor, an historic figure, a superhero, a scientist, or a famous artist, author, or musician? At some point, she will begin to admire someone (other than you) greatly. Find out that person’s birthday and print out and frame an image of your child’s hero. Even some fictional characters like Spider-Man have “birthdays.” Hint: It’s Aug. 10. Then, when the hero’s birthday arrives, gift the child the framed picture with a note on the back that says, “I love that you have such wonderful interests. To celebrate (your hero’s) birthday, here’s a picture for your wall!” This shows your child that you listen to her and appreciate her interests.

Break a (Tiny) Rule

Don’t eat cake with your hands.

Put your shoes on before going outside.

No TV until homework is done.

Bedtime’s at 8:30 on the dot.

Use your inside voice, please.

So. Many. Rules. What are the “never break” rules in your house? Well, sometimes we all need a break. Choose a time when you can bend a simple rule with your kids. Let them know that you appreciate all their hard work and loving attention. Or maybe they’re not having the best week and stress might be influencing attitudes and behaviors. So, change it up a little and let loose. This gesture of love is about connection, renewal, and fun. Showing your kids that they are more important than a rigid routine is a great way to show some love.


Austin Family Magazine serves the greater Austin area with up-to-date information and ideas that promote smart parenting and healthy homes. Pick up the latest issue at any local HEB, Central Market, or Whole Foods or visit

Jennifer Hill Robenalt is the editor of Austin Family Magazine. 


Jennifer Hill Robenalt
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to

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