It’s been a of couple months since Angelo has begun using the ‘L’ word. Sometimes, he’ll nozzle up to me like a puppy and says “I love you mummy”. I simply melt and my heart feels so full of love for him too. Other times in the middle of me scolding him he’ll say “I love you so much mummy”. You’d think he’d know me by now. Don’t talk of love when I’m mad, it will only make me angrier. Sorry, no ‘awh moment’ there. Nip that in the bud. I have to ask as a parent, do you feel that the love between parent and child is automatic?  Or do you feel that like other relationships love grows?  In my opinion, personality aside, a child is a blank canvas and they have to be shown how to love.

When Angelo was a baby, I used to whisper “I love you” into his little ears. As her grew older I added a bit of flourish to my expressions of ‘Guess How Much I Love you’. I’d tell him that I loved him more than grains of sand by the sea, more that stars in the sky and he’d giggle. If we’d had a rough day and he was driving me up the wall, as a rule I’d never let him go to sleep upset.  I’d cuddle him and explain that it was his behaviour I didn’t like but I love him. He’d nod his head, apologize and we’d exchange our ‘I love yous’. Now at the ripe of age of 4 years old going on 14, he takes away his love. If he’s cross because I’ve scolded him, he’d say “I don’t love you anymore!” Sometimes I get into the figurative sandpit with him and my four years old self would say “well I don’t like you very much right now either”. Suddenly he’s shocked and hurt; he’ll quickly apologize. At this point, I try to explain to him, that I have feelings too. I remind him that he should not say things that he doesn’t mean or that’s not true. Perhaps it’s too much for a four years old child to totally grasp but like all else you have to start young. I  feel it’s vital that he knows no matter what, I love him but just as important, I have feelings too.  He also enjoys making me laugh. He comes up will so many antics to make me smile, if I look too serious. In his young little life, he’s done so many sweet things to show his affection, I admire him.

Angelo 6 weeks old

Angelo 6 weeks old

Angelo reciprocates love.  His dad and I have shown him our interpretation of love.  As a toddler he hated seeing his dad I cuddle or hold hands. He used to come over and separate our hands or push us apart. Now, he joins in the cuddle, and then two become three. I think he understands that I can love him and his dad. He will not lose me. As an adult, a wife and mother, I’m only now coming into the understanding of what love really means and having the confidence to show it. I was never used to outward displays of affection, certainly not in public. During our courting days, Hubby made a point of sweeping me off my feet, hand holding, kisses and cuddles IN PUBLIC, oh the ‘indignity’. He made grow into a more openly loving warmer version of myself and just as important I learnt how he wanted to be loved. I think we have to show by words and by deeds what love is. At first our children need us, and then they want us. We are their world, but as the years roll by and life experiences grow, then they will truly love us, I HOPE…

I’d like to hear from you. As I asked earlier, do you feel loved by your child? Or do you feel more like the hired help? How do express your love to your child?