As you create a new routine for your family after the loss of your partner, don’t forget to express love to your children. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in this new role of single parenting, but the following list includes many ideas that do not take a great deal of time, but will bring you and your child closer. Not too many people get tired of hearing “I love you” from those closest to them, but a little variety and help saying it never comes amiss. So, if you feel you are not being listened to as a single parent when you express love to your child, here are a few ideas to get you started (and heard):
Write I love you with magnetic letters on any metallic surface.
Read the child’s favorite book together.
Turn off the radio on a trip and talk instead.
Go for a walk together and let your child set the pace.
Read and laugh at the comics together.
Teach yourself and your child how to say “I love you” in a dozen different languages -Extra tip- include Sign Language and you can quickly sign it rather than say it in situations where older children might not accept this verbal reminder.
Create your own way of saying I love you. One family uses any combination of 3 to say I love you. For instance, if they are turning out the lights at night, the person saying I love you flicks the lights 3 times, and the message is sent and received by all in the room. Another family waves a handkerchief to express their love and good-byes.
Write a note and leave it on child’s pillow or tucked into schoolbag.
Send a postcard or email expressing love and gratitude for the child.
Use conversation hearts.
Compliment with sincerity something about your child’s behavior, appearance, character, strengths, talents, music, etc.
When you feel overwhelmed yourself, know that there are many places to turn for help as a single parent. Many organizations exist to help you with ideas to settle into a new routine for you and your family. If you are having troubles of a more serious nature with your children, such as running away, there is help. Sites exist that are designed specifically to give you resources to help your troubled child.