You show your child you love them everyday by taking care of their needs and even some of their wants.  Telling your child you love them is just as important as their basic needs.  As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children how to communicate and share their feelings.   That example starts with us.

Children with disabilities do not require a special type of love.  They need to see it, hear it, and feel it everyday.  Although they may not always understand the things you do for them are an act of love, they need that example from their parents.  While there are many ways to make your child feel loved, we have compiled a quickl list for busy parents.

Here are some different ways you can show them you love and care about them this Valentine’s Day.

1.  Post-It Note Challenge

Write characterisitics or memories you have with your child and post them on their door, on the bathroom mirror, in their bookbag, or anywhere you know they will find it.  If your child cannot read yet, post pictures or images that tell them what you want to say.   Older students may not appreciate a surprise love note from Mom in their lunch box for all of their friends to see.  Keeping the Post-Its “at home” for high school kids will help save them some embarassment.

2.  Plan a special meal.

Again, your high school student may not like a heart shaped sandwhich in their lunchbox, but their friends don’t have to know about the heart shaped pancake they ate for breakfast!  Plan something special for your family, even if you don’t want to spend a lot of extra money.  Heart shaped pancakes and strawberries will do the trick.  If you rarely cook breakfast, try to get up and make something- that alone will be a special surprise.

3. Spend quality time together

With the daily hustle and bustle, it can be hard to carve time out for your family.   Put down the phone and set aside some time one evening or weekend to do something your child loves.  Play a game, read a book, go with them to walk the dog, talk to them about their day without distractions.  This alone will tell them you care.

4.   Take them on a special trip

You don’t have to go far, but taking them to that movie they have been begging you to see will certainly brighten their day.  Find a play or show they would like or an arcade.  If you don’t want to spend extra money, go to the park or plan a fun day at the beach.

5.  Give them a hug

Although giving your child a hug seems like an obvious thing to do, it’s also easy to forget.  Give your child a hug when they aren’t expecting it.  Wrapping your arms around them will help them feel important and loved.  Even if they pretend to hate it, you are still getting your idea across to them.  If your child does not like to be touched, try giving them an “air” hug.  Get their attention and pretend to wrap your arms around them.

Sometimes going out of your way to show your child you care can mean the most.  Doing things outside of the normal day-to-day will help create a special memory for your child 

The Broach School is a private, 501-c3 school in Jacksonville, FL serving students with disabilities.  For more information about our school, the McKay Scholarship, Gardiner Scholarship, or Step Up For Students Scholarship, please give us a call.