How to Make Your Child Feel Loved

Certain Communication or Parenting Styles May Hinder Your Love Message

As parents or caregivers, we want the children in our lives to know that we love them. We work hard to communicate that love. We care for them, feed them, clothe them, and protect them. We want what's best for them and work hard to make sure they have the things they need - and some of the things they want. Most of us tell our kids that we love them, and we work hard to come up with ways to "connect" with our kids and show them that we love them.

Yet, when there is a chronic lack of cooperation, when we nag our kids all the time or yell at them, let them steamroll us, or face mutiny in the ranks, we finally come to a place where we begin to question whether we have fallen short of our grand intentions. We can feel as though we've failed as parents. Quite frankly, we don't feel very loving in that moment. We just feel beaten up. And we know our kids don't feel loved by us as much as we really do love them. So, how do we address these issues so that our kids feel loved and cherished by us? How can we begin to reclaim our relationships with our children instead feeling defeated in connecting with these ones whom we love the most in the world?

Communication Style

First, let's look at possible styles of communication or discipline that you might be using that could hinder your ability to consistently and effectively convey to your kids the love you have for your them. I promise, this self-examination is the only painful part of the process (everything else is fun).

It is important to assess which style(s) you normally use in communicating with your child:

  • passive,
  • assertive,
  • aggressive, or
  • some combination of the three styles.

An interactive online questionnaire offered at the Excellence Gateway by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) of the UK can readily help you determine your exact mixture of communication styles. Of course, an assertive style is the one you want to aim for. If the style of communication that you currently use (one of the other two or a combination) is counterproductive, you can change it. Communication style is simply a learned skill, like riding a bike or driving a car. Some of us literally need to go back to school to learn to communicate in a way that's more supportive of the people we love, including ourselves. There are a number of interpersonal communication courses offered at local colleges and service organizations. In a few short weeks, you could be communicating at a whole new level - one that will impact every relationship you have in a positive way.

Your Parenting Style

Which of the styles described best matches your Parenting Style?

  • Authoritarian (You run the show; it's my way or the highway!)
  • Permissive (The kids run the show; you often feel like They're the car and You're the highway)
  • Authoritative (You allow the kids input; you cruise together)
  • A combination of authoritarian and authoritative
  • A combination of permissive and authoritative
See results without voting

Parenting Style

You'll also benefit from knowing your own parenting style, whether it's:

  • authoritarian,
  • permissive, or
  • authoritative (democratic),
  • or a combination of these.

To find out easily, you can take a parenting style quiz here on HubPages.com. It is a short quiz that you score yourself. Once you have your results, you can begin to better understand your current style of parenting and the pros and cons of that particular approach.

The authoritative parenting style is the style that best balances appropriate discipline and boundaries with love. This parenting style reinforces everyone's rights, opinions, and personal worth within the family and can encourage attachment. It's the one you want to shoot for.

If you feel that your current parenting style is the the best one to support your relationship with your child, the good news is that you can modify it so that it does. ActiveParenting.com offers an excellent video series on parenting. Also, there are plenty of good parenting classes offered locally - many for free - through churches and other community organizations. This is not about blaming yourself or admitting failure on your part, it is about becoming the BEST parent you can be. Even top professional athletes like Lance Armstrong and Michael Jordan have coaches to help them make it to the top of their game!

The Five Love Languages of Children

Variety is the Food of Love

Once you have established a positive communication and parenting style with your child, what is left is FUN! The object is to feed your child's love tank in as many "love languages" as you can speak, whether you're fluent (well-versed) in them or not. Variety is key. Take every opportunity to convey to your child your deep, abiding love and affection for him or her. You can make this connection through every sense - sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.

  • Sight - Smile at your child. Laugh with him or her. Leave "love notes" in unexpected places, such as pinned to her dance outfit or in toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.
  • Sound - Tell, sing, or rhyme your love to your child. Tell your child stories of their babyhood or of your childhood. Find a sound that is comforting to your child. My daughter is very comforted by the sound of the washing machine and dryer when she is falling asleep or waking up in the morning, so I wash clothes around those times. Don't forget to PRAISE your child. Praise builds your child's self-worth at the same time it connects the two of you.
  • Touch - Gently touch your child. Snuggle with him or her. Find special touch activities that comfort your child or make him or her feel cherished. My daughter loves a foot massage, and she regularly receives one from me.
  • Taste - Regularly make (and share) your child's favorite foods as a special treat.
  • Smell- Make certain the smells in your home are pleasing. Provide a special shampoo. Bake wonderful homemade breads that tempt with delicious hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and spice. You're not a baker? That's what an automatic bread maker is for - it does the hard work while you enjoy time with your child.

For a child, the best gift of all is the gift of your time and attention.
For a child, the best gift of all is the gift of your time and attention.

Gifts - An Expression of Love

Gifts are an expression of love.  Include them in your love bag.

  • The gift of yourself: your time and your attention - This is THE MOST IMPORTANT gift you can give your child.  Regularly spend time with your child when your attention is fully engaged on your child. Most children instinctively crave this expression of love and for many, it is their favorite of all the many ways you can show them love. For these children, to feel loved, they must have your gift of time. My daughter really looks forward to our "Mommy and Kayla time."
  • Tangible gifts - most children also respond to the thoughtfulness of a tangible gift. They take delight in you're thinking of them and, usually, in the surprise element involved in the giving of the gift.

By noticing what kinds of expressions of love to which your child responds best (it could be different from those to which you respond best) and focusing your efforts there while expressing your love in a variety of other ways, as well, you can ensure that you "connect" with your child's love meter and that his or her love tank stays full.

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Comments 16 comments

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

A very nice guide indeed - most of us are so busy with just doing, we forget to feel and miss out on the fun!


Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

I've been guilty at times of this very thing. That is when I know it's time for a "time out" that my daughter and I take - TOGETHER.


Kulsum Mehmood profile image

Kulsum Mehmood 7 years ago from Nagpur, India

Very nice write-up Staci-barbo.


Carrie Bradshaw profile image

Carrie Bradshaw 7 years ago from Manhattan

So glad you have this hub posted for all of us as wonderful reminders and tips to keep us loving our children while they're still home!! They grow up so fast, and indeed will tend to mimick our parenting style with our grandbabies and for generations to come....this is so vitally important to our future generations. Thank you!


Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

BC, very kind of you, sir.

Kulsum, I am so glad you stopped by.

Carrie, I agree wholeheartedly! Our children are our treasure.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

Love this hub - such care and love for children. Well written hub - I look forward to reading more.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

I really enjoyed reading this and I bookmarked it so that I can go back and take the quizzes! This is a wonderful hub, with such a meaningful message! Thanks!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I love being around my children. I lean toward an authoritarian style of parenting, that has plenty of room to listen to there thoughts and concerns. As the parent, I believe it is my duty to raise and instruct them to being the best that they can be, and this means holding them to a high standard. I can not do that for them, if they run the show. I love how we work and play together.


Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

K@ri, thank you for your kind remarks.  You're welcome anytime! 

Ivorwen, you sound like a wonderful mother!  I believe that your style of parenting definitely leans toward the authoritative side of authoritarian, which usually results in the BEST adjusted and happiest children.  The thing that I find with many friends and acquaintances is that they are unwilling to be an authority in their child's life - they would rather be a friend, first and foremost.  That appeals to the gentle nature inbred in most women.  However, without proper correction, both child and parent can pay a big price for a long time to come. 

Proper discipline and respect lays a foundation for a successful future for a child, while the lack thereof can hinder them from being able to govern themselves and to navigate life's requirements.  In short, parents can do their children a disservice in failing to discipline appropriately (please do not read as the necessity of 'spanking' or 'beating them into submission.')   I promise that's not what I had in mind.  Allowing natural consequences and imposing logical consequences (these are child psychology terms with very specific meaning)  - both positive and negative - are a big part of good discipline. 


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

Nice Hub for parents. I think one of the best ways to help children feel loved is to treat them with respect. One aspect of all love is that respect must be present. It's very possible to be an in-charge parent without disregarding respect toward the children. In return, they tend to respect back, and everyone feels loved (even in the face of disagreements). :)


Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

Lisa, thank you for taking time to comment. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. One of the advantages of authoritative vs. authoritarian style of parenting is that your child feels heard, cared for, and respected. Both autocratic (authoritarian) AND permissive styles of parenting usually do not provide this benefit - the first because it tends to court harshness and the second because it so often fails to address real behavioral issues or set boundaries, which failure to provide will "set up" both parent and child for chronic disappointment, leading to resentment and disrespect.

I have heard that moderation is usually the best policy. I believe strongly that, in parenting, the authoritarian style manages to achieve a much more balanced approach to relating to your child than do other options.


receptionist profile image

receptionist 7 years ago

Good parenting really reflects on the child's attitude. I strongly believe that if we let our children feel that they are loved, they will grow strong and will have a bright future. This is such a nice hub you have here.Thanks for sharing.


Honey;* 7 years ago

Thnx for every thing u really helped me a lot..!


Honey;* 7 years ago

Thnx for every thing u really helped me a lot..!


jenajan 6 years ago

like that honey


MG 6 years ago

these comments are great, really use ful

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