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Teaching Your Children How to Love

As parents there are some things we hope our children will learn from us and others we sincerely hope skip this generation. However when it comes to the ability to love and be loved, we all hope to set a great example for our children. Coming from a home where both parents loved and cherished each other I was able to experience what it was to love and be loved. Unfortunately my own marriage didn't turn out the way my parents did but that doesn't mean that I couldn't show my own kids love. Today I have one of my favorite guest poster Alyssa Craig sharing some tips on how you can teach your children how to love.

Happy marriages are key to happy children. When a marriage is unhappy or there is distance between spouses, this can often project negative consequences onto the child. Your relationship now will affect how your children view and take part in relationships in the future. What kind of relationship do you want your child to have with their future spouse? Is that the relationship they currently see modeled at home? Here are a few things that will help you to have a happy marriage and teach your children how to love and be loved:

Love Your Spouse

Your Spouse is #1: Your marriage should be your top priority. Yes, this even means above your children. When you build a solid relationship, you create a basis for a home where love can be easily felt and expressed, strengthening all relationships within it.

Model Respect: Show that a romantic relationship should be a partnership of equals, filled with respect for one another. Let your kids see you making decisions together, enforcing rules set together and compromising when the two of you disagree.

Be Openly Affectionate: Allow your children to see signs of affection like holding hands, kissing, cuddling, and small gestures of appreciation, like flowers. They may make a face or saw “ew”, but they need to know their parents’ love is genuine.

Show Compassion: When your spouse is in pain, frustrated, sad, or anxious show that you are sympathetic and willing to help them. This is especially important in situations when you may not completely understand why they are upset.

Be Protective: Do not allow for anyone to disrespect or speak poorly of your spouse and that includes yourself and your children. You will not only teach them respect, but you will also show your children the level of importance your relationship has in your life.

Have a Weekly Date Night: This means away from the kids. Show the children your relationship is important enough to give individual focus to each other on a regular basis and that you look forward to and enjoy spending time together.

Be Romantic: Look for ways to make small romantic gestures. Bring home flowers, dance in the kitchen, give their arm a squeeze as you walk by, cook their favorite meal, or buy their favorite treat.

Exemplify Good Human Behavior: Show your children that a loving relationship involves treating the other person well. Demonstrate good listening abilities, apologize, and grant forgiveness.

Love Your Children

While your spouse is #1, your children should definitely come next. Don’t forget to show them you love them too and are aware of their need to feel loved:

Show and Say “I Love You”: Express your love to them through your actions as well as your words. Tell them how much you love them, praise them for a job well done, and acknowledge their positive attributes and talents. Throughout the day leave them notes of love, give them hugs, and tuck them into bed at night with a kiss.

Address Difficult Topics: Divorce is a difficult and confusing event for children, whether it be a divorce close in your family or when they see how it affects their friends. If someone close to your child is going through a divorce, take the time to sit down with your child to discuss it. Help them to understand it is something that has to do with the parents’ relationship and the children are never to blame.

Help Them Practice Love Now: Practice makes perfect so help your child look for ways to cultivate their ability to love. Encourage your child to exhibit love and respect to everyone around them, whether it is patience toward other family members, kindness to a stranger, or writing a nice note to a friend.

As scary as it seems, your little ones are always listening and watching your every move. Be sure to create a relationship with them, and especially with your spouse, that will teach them how to really love.

Let's discuss: What other ways do you teach your children how to love? 

Annmarie John
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  1. Love starts at home. Thanks for this list and leading by example is truly the best way. I agree with all of this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We are our kids' first teachers and setting good examples makes it easy for them to learn. These are great tips.

  3. As a becoming father, I also think teaching be example is the best way, I know the education I got from my folks and the neighborhood I used to live in, was pretty unpleasant. I plan to handle things differently with my kids, thanks for the tips!

  4. Having grown up in a home where there was love and respect I was thrown for a loop when after my Dad died and my Mom remarried all that changed. Well, at least I had the basis for a loving personality! I don't have children but I agree Love needs to be shown and the word itself does not matter if the action is not also there.

  5. These are all good tips. Thankfully when the kids are little it's easy, but it is important to model for them so they have that example to draw from when they're older.

  6. Kids pick up on so much more than we know. I never understood it when I heard of people "staying together for the kids." You're effectively choosing between giving the kids a better decade or whatever in the home (which may not actually be better), vs. showing them what to look for in a partner whom they will spend (we hope) 50+ years with.

  7. This is really good advice. I like the idea of making sure to address the difficult topics with the kids. Hiding things is never a good solution

  8. Nice advice I will try to apply on of this Thank you for sharing.

  9. such a great post with amazing tips. I agree so much that your kids are watching you and you need to give them a good example of what love is and what it looks like. I need to work on having more date nights with my husband. We are going to Vegas for a week next week for our 10 year anniversary so that is definitely a start.

  10. Putting your spouse before your kids is a very controversial statement but I totally agree. You need to be happy with your relationship so that you can spread that love to your children together.

  11. So important! I love the tip about being romantic. I hope my daughter see's a healthy relationship with her father and myself.

  12. These are great tips. I realized a few years ago that my kids naturally show their love for me in the way they want to be loved. So I was able to do things for each of them that let them know just how much I love them.

    And I agree 100% about putting your spouse first. I hope to be an example of what a good marriage looks like, even with kids.

  13. A happy family can really uplift a kids outlook in life. They would be affected by each of their parents action or conflicts.

  14. Very interesting post. Most of the time we forget about these simple things we can do as a family.

  15. This is a great post. There are so many things that we can do to teach our children how to love.

  16. This is such great advice! I think leading by example is the best way!

  17. This is a great article. I think you are right. There are so many times where we are trying to teach our kids things that we are not practicing ourselves. The better we can be, the better we can teach them to be as well. They look to us!

  18. These are all great tips! It is so true that your spouse needs to come first. I can be hard when you have little children, but if your relationship falls apart your children will carry that damage with them their whole lives.

  19. Love is something that needs to be shown to be taught. We always say I love you to each other and are very giving with hugs and kisses.

  20. YesYesYes x1000 YES! I totally agree with everything in this post! Children need to see great role models for everything and love is definitely at the top.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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