Friday, April 10, 2009

14 Ways to Tell Your Son "I Love You"

1. Take him to your favorite restaurant
Not McDonald’s. Not Burger King. Take him to a real, grown-up sit-down place and share a meal. Trust me: he already knows that this is where you take important people.

2. Let him stay up past his bedtime
And do something together. Stare at the stars. Make fudge. Build a model. Being up with Mom or Dad alone in the dark is a powerful memory.

3. Play Risk with him
Or Monopoly. You know – the kind of game you never have time to play. Just get out the dice and roll.

4. Hug & kiss him
All boys need to be hugged and kissed. Even (or maybe especially) the ones who tell you they don’t.

5. Make his favorite meal
For no apparent reason. He’ll know and appreciate it.

6. Play cars – or dinos or whatever – with him
It’s so hard to find the time to get down on the floor, and so hard to put away your grown-up-sized worries and concerns, but nothing means as much to a boy as playing with him.

7. Don’t complain the next time he comes home muddy
This comes straight from the mouth of my eight-year-old. What more can I say?

8. Watch his favorite movie with him

Pop some popcorn and settle in. His taste in movies probably isn’t exactly the same as yours, but who knows? You might realize you like foreign films.

9. Introduce him to your hobby

Golf, knitting, rock climbing – whatever you do, he knows it’s important to you. Show him the ropes and invite him into your world.

10. Ask him where he’d like to go. Take him.
But feel free to set boundaries. You might be surprised at where he wants to go.

11. Listen to him
Really listen to him the next time he starts talking about his passion. Ask questions. Challenge him. Show genuine interest.

12. Read him your favorite book.

You know, the one you loved when you were a kid. Tell him why you loved it and read out loud, with enthusiasm. He just may see you in a whole new light.

13. Let him help you
Do laundry. Fix the car. You’ll get to spend time together and he’ll learn new skills.

14. Talk calmly, even when he frustrates you
Again -- straight from the mouth of my eight-year-old. Keeping a level head shows your son that you respect and value him as a person.

Help me add to my list! There must be at least 25 ways to tell your son “I love you”….


  1. Dance with him to his favorite song... I did this my son Jacob last weekend - we had a blast!

  2. Tell them you are proud of them when they accomplish something. Almost as important as saying you love them.

  3. Get dirty with him - he will think it's hilarious to see Mom get muddy too!
    Snuggle with him at bedtime and ask him about his day - the ups, the downs, the people he interacted with. This is especially meaningful to me as a mom who works full-time and misses the after-school rundown.

  4. I really like this post! Thank you for taking the time to write this. Some great ideas!

    Ripple On!!!


  5. Great idea! I really like the "get dirty with him" one. Putting it on my to-do list right now... :)

  6. Great post. I have a son and a daughter, and I admit I find it easier to show my daughter I love her than my son.

    It's not that I love one more than the other. It's just she loves to just cuddle with me on the couch or give me a hug or kiss. (My son hates that.) Your list has given me some good ways to connect with him. (and the hubby, too, who is really just a big boy.)

  7. Excellent point, Gina -- husband are great big boys, all grown-up!

  8. Okay, here you go. Get him the pet he's been asking for! So far we have a cat, a puppy and a fish tank! I am sure there are more in our future!!

  9. Let him crawl all over you and snuggle in to watch HIS favorite show. (He is 2 1/2 and the "watching position" is uncomfortable and the content is mind-numbing, but he feels loved!)

  10. My boys are teenagers. I would add 1) back him up when he's having trouble with a teacher, and 2) when he wears something outrageous, just nod and tell him to have a good day.

  11. around 6:30 every night, our almost 2 year old turns into taz...seriously. he has no power button...he's just stuck "on". he runs in circles with his blanket over his head, stands on anything he can climb on, kamikaze jumps on my husband and me, and just laughs the whole time. even when he falls and smacks his head off the hardwood floors, he has the greatest time, gets up and does it again! so my advice is to take in the moments, and participate in taz time! he has a blast, and so do we. with both of us working full time, it's nice to have some play time...and he has the most energy then. if it could be bottled...

  12. Love your ideas!
    I'd add
    Be as active in the things he loves as you can be. My son is 11 and in Boy Scouts (which he loves). My hubby got trained to be an assistant Scout Master and I manage the troop database. We go on the family campouts (2 per year- the rest are Scouts and leaders only), do the service projects with them so they can see it's important to you too. Lots of positive role models in Scouting as well.
    Then, there are times in Scouts for Mom and Dad to step back and let him accomplish or camp without you so he can develop some independance and he'll be proud to tell you about it.

    aka AudreyGardenLady at

  13. Great ideas, Audrey. We do 4-H and I make an effort to be involved in that -- attend events with them, volunteer as a parent leader, etc. I also make an effort to involve myself in their interestsk, even if the interest is something that doesn't really appeal to me. My oldest, for instance, is huge into fishing. And while fishing is something I'd never do on my own, I do it on occasion with him, simply b/c it's important to him.

  14. I love this post. Thanks for these great ideas. In addition, you may simply tell him, I love you ( i specially love to do this first thing after he wakes up in the morning). And it never fails to make him smile. What a wonderful sight to start your day. :) - Ninya

  15. Rub his feet. I love this site Hope there is more!

  16. This is AWESOME! THANK YOU so much for posting all these! God bless all of you for taking the time... You are all amazing parents. :)

    I have a 7 yo and an 8 yo son.. I have found these help, too:

    1. Admit when we make mistakes and say "I'm sorry". They need to know that no one (not even mom) is perfect. They can fess up and still love themselves when they make a mistake if they know it's okay. This especially matters when we are hard on them without cause.

    2. Listen and HEAR when they talk to us. Ask questions and actuslly respond to them.

    3. Pick out a song that you ONLY sing to him... and then say, "HEY! This is OUR song" when you hear it sang somewhere else! They get a kick out of this!

    4. BE SILLY! I have a girl, too, and boys ESPECIALLY appreciate this :)

    5. Pray with them

  17. thank you for your effort it's greet idea and it make grown and developed...