Saying I Love You! Is It Important?
I love that my kids are expressive. As I was dropping off my son at school today, he said “I love you mommy!”, gave me a hug and ran off. It made my heart melt.
While this is not an everyday scenario, it’s usually goes more like this.
Me: Get out of the car! Why did you take your shoes off?
Son: I don’t want shoes.
Me: It’s cold outside let’s get your jacket on.
Son: Noooo! I don’t want a jacket.
Me: Let’s go we’re going to be late.......
Anyway, I digress. What I’m trying to say is that I love that my kids are little cuddle bugs. They are open, loving and aren’t afraid to express it. We are very loving in our house, we give hugs and say I love you a lot. Which is interesting to me, because that’s not the way I grew up.
I’m a first generation Chinese American, and while I grew up in a loving household, saying I love you and showing affection all the time just isn’t what happened. I still feel like when I give my relatives hugs they sort of don’t know what to do and give me a smile and an awkward pat on the back. My family was more about showing love by doing things rather than saying it. It’s the philosophy, “If I do things for you then you know I love you.”
Maybe it’s a cultural thing or some families just aren’t as comfortable with expressing affection. I don’t think it’s good or bad either way, it’s just different. While I’m very expressive with my parents now, I’m not sure exactly when I evolved from my more guarded self when it came to expressing love to the person I am today. I don’t think I was always as affectionate as I am now, especially in high school or when I was dating. It was hard for me to say I love you. Sometimes I think I still go back to my old ways a bit, especially when it comes to my husband, of doing things to show my love rather than verbalizing it too.
Either way I am thankful I am more expressive now and that I am able to pass on the ability to show my feelings to my children and say I love you.
What about you? Does expressing your affection come easy for you? Does your upbringing affect how you raise your kids in terms showing love?