There's a cute little questionnairre going around Facebook lately, where you ask your kids questions about you and post the answers for all your friends to see -- questions like, "What is something Mom always says to you?" and "What's your Mom's favorite thing to do?"
It's a fun little questionnairre, but I was intrigued by my boys' responses to this question:
"How do you know your Mom loves you?"
Their answers? Boy #1: "She goes fishing with me and takes me to sports shows." Boys #2 & 3: "She takes us fun places."
Notice: not a word about hugs, kisses or "I love you's." All three of my boys instead talked about a thing I did with them.
This tendency -- to focus on concrete actions versus verbal or emotional expressions as a marker of affection -- is common to males. According to Dr. Jim Houran, "women desire more emotional sharing and affection than men. To this end, women tend to say, 'I love you' more often and exhibit more nonverbal emotional expression and eye contact...men are more likely to show affection through direct actions."
That's something for me to keep in mind everyday. I might hug and kiss my boys all day long, but to them, getting down and playing cars with them may be a more meaningful expression of love than all the kisses in the world.