Helping children understand what love is, and how we can show it in different ways

Jealousy is a feeling of frustration, or sadness, when we believe that we are no longer being emotionally supported by loved ones – at least, not with the intensity and frequency that we want or need.

Love: a genuine form of giving

Love is one of the primary, most basic feelings. There are different ways of experiencing it, and since it is a subjective experience, its forms of expression vary. Love goes beyond the romantic ideal transmitted by fairy tales. Being loving means showing affection, respect, and understanding for the people that matter to us. It is not about giving away material things but about giving of ourselves.

How does empathy relate to love?

In order to appreciate the needs of others, and be able to respond in loving and appropriate ways, we need to cultivate empathy. If children can acquire empathy, they are much more likely to have positive social relationships.

How can we encourage our kids to demostrate their love and care?

Storyberries provide free online children’s books, and parenting tips, to nurture an attitude of love and respect, and encourage the development of the valuable skill of empathy.

Bedtime Stories I Love My Mom Free Books Online header illustration

 

Being a Positive Role Model

Parents and primary care-givers are the main reference for children in all matters of life, and if children see us show love, they will show it too. They see love in the small everyday gestures we make, and in the daily words we use.

When we demonstrate consistent love to children, they feel secure, they can discern what real love is and they develop a trust that they are both loved and lovable, When children are surrounded by secure feelings of love, they experience an outpouring of affection for themselves and others.


bedtime stories our favourite things to do short stories for kids header

How kids understand love

Like anything that is explained to a child, love should be explained in the simplest, least elaborate way and with the most appropriate words for their age. The explanation of love through words may not be enough for a child. Explain love directly through gestures like a hug. For example, hug your child and ask, “How are you feeling right now?” They are likely to say they are feeling good or happy inside. So you can explain that these are some of the special feelings we have when we feel loved, and when we love other people.
Bedtime Stories The Great Tidy Up Short Stories for Kids header

Love as acts of kindness

Love is showing dedication and wanting the other person to feel good and happy. As such, love is also complex because sometimes it means doing things we would rather not do.

There’s enough love for everyone!

We can explain to children that love is limitless by using the analogy of a glowing candle flame. After being lit, a candle can be used to light another candle, and then another, and so on.


Bedtime stories Alphapets Too Alphabet books for kids header

Loving and caring for pets

Pets at home can also be helpful for explaining love. “When you pet or feed your cat, that’s love,” you can tell your child. Caring for pets helps kids to understand that love can mean taking care of someone else. Love also means setting limits. For example, we do not allow the dog to have everything he wants, such as chewing plastic, running outside or eating chocolate… because he does not understand that it can hurt him. In this way we can show that love is also a way of protecting those who are vulnerable. 
Grandma on a Windy Beach header

Encouraging kids to trust their own hearts

Sometimes we insist on putting love into words, or giving all kinds of explanations, when in truth, deep in their soul, your child knows or intuits what love is.


Writing by Kids The Green Earth and Me Bedtime stories header

Love as an energy that keeps flowing

We can explain love in many ways – with words, with actions and with gestures, but beyond these expressions, love is the energy that keeps on flowing.

We give love and we receive love in a continuous cycle. Your child will get to have their own idea of love, based on their experiences of being loved by you, and you showing them one of life’s most beautiful mysteries.

 

Some Free Books About Love At Storyberries

Best free books at Storyberries
Bedtime stories A Goldfish Adventure for Tatters and Fred free kids books online header illustration

A Goldfish Adventure for Tatters and Fred

Timmy has two new goldfish called Tatters and Fred. Timmy shows his love by taking care of them and enjoying their company. One day the goldfish friends have an unexpected adventure in the river. A super story for talking about love and friendship.
Bedtime story The Whole World I Love It kids book header illustration

The Whole World I Love It

Enjoy this beautifully illustrated and tender book about a parent’s love for a child. There are suggestions at the end of the book for discussing what love means and the different ways it can be shown.

The Seed That Grew

There are lots of different kinds of love being shown in this beautiful story. A vital aspect of love is caring for ourselves and the young girl in this story follows the warmth of her heart to grow a very special seed. She shows patience, love and care as she nurtures the seed, and then gets to enjoy it when it flowers

Article by Luzmery M. Romero Gamboa and Fleur Rodgers

Luzmery Child Psychologist Storyberries

Luzmery works in the area of clinical psychology as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents and families. Since 2016, she has run a Psychological Center in Venezuela called Psicoluz. She offers workshop facilitations to parents, is involved in recreational activities for children, and has been working as a freelancer since 2017 performing online psychotherapy. 

Storyberries parenting portal author and mindfulness coach Fleur Rodgers

Fleur is a meditation teacher in France and uses a compassion and loving-kindness based approach to meditation and slow-minded living. Fleur posts regularly to Instagram @rodgers.fleur . She has two children, is a qualified teacher in adult education and is the founder of Timeouttobreathe.com