Friday, March 6, 2009

Showing Love

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 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.


  1. Yep, I have to agree on that. My ds says the same thing. He doesn't remember me saying stuff nearly as much as he remembers we went somewhere. :)

  2. UGH! Jenny, you mean I actually do have to play with Nolan? I thought me sitting on the couch, sleeping, while he watched tv said I love you more than any words possibly could! :)

  3. Jennifer,
    today I discovered your blog, and I can quit. Thank you so much for this, as you say, 'intriguing' topic.
    Here the remark is very good, however impossible it may seem to stop showing verbal love:)

  4. My boys will have to hear my "I love yous" no matter what! I'll just have to also remember to do things with them.