I love you. It’s three simple words that say so much. And I’m sure your child loves to hear it. Unless they are pre-teens and probably want to have nothing to do with the parentals. So, in that case you’ll need to find other ways to tell them you love them. Try these on for size:

Mom and kid playing video games
Playing video games with your child is a way to tell him you love him.
Getty Images/iStockphoto
  1. I believe you.
  2. I trust you.
  3. I’m sorry.
  4. You inspire me.
  5. I like how you ____.
  6. What do you think?
  7. You are so fun to be around (and mean it)
  8. Let’s try it your way.
  9. You handled that so well!
  10. Would you turn your music up?
  11. I never thought of it that way.
  12. Can you help me do ____?
  13. **Laughing** especially at a bad joke.
  14. You were right.
  15. Tell me more!
  16. Can you show me how to ___?
  17. Let’s play a video game.
  18. You are a good friend to have.
  19. Will you teach me how you did that?
  20. Thank you for being patient; listening; understanding; helping; etc.

Saying “I love you” goes a long way but using encouraging statements or questions like the ones above can spark deeper connections and trust. Get creative with the words you use on your parenting journey and your child will remember as they get older.