How to Explain What Love Means to Your Children

From the day our children are born, we tell them we love them. But what does that mean? When the time comes to explain love to our children, we demonstrate it in a variety of ways.
How to Explain What Love Means to Your Children
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Written by Yamila Papa

Last update: 27 December, 2022

There comes a time when our children reach a certain age and start asking questions we’re not quite sure how to answer. That’s why we want to take this opportunity to help you explain what love means to your children. It’s very important that your children understand this concept .

Is it possible to explain what leave means to children?

Perhaps they see something on TV, go to a wedding, or it’s Valentine’s Day. Whatever the reason, your children all of the sudden ask: “What’s love?”

We’re not talking about romance and boyfriends and girlfriends, nor are we talking about giving gifts. Rather, we want to talk about that pure and tender feeling that our little ones can feel and experience.

By far, the best way to help children comprehend love is to teach them by example – being kind and caring to those around us. We can also discuss the concept as if it were something foreign – but putting love into practice is well worth it.

It doesn’t matter how old children are, we can always explain different feelings through stories, fairy tales or music. It’s simply a matter of capturing your children’s interest so that they pay attention.

Using our example to explain what love means

As we mentioned above, there’s more than one way to explain what  love means to children. However, the best way is to set an example that your little ones can follow. This means that, as parents, we have the obligation of being loving towards our children, partner, family and friends.

As adults, we’re our children’s first reference point in every little thing we do. If they see us showing love, then they too will express it. Children are like giant sponges that absorb everything that goes on around them!

How to Explain What Love Means to Your Children

Explaining the meaning of love to children doesn’t mean sitting them down on the couch and giving them a lecture about some abstract idea for two hours.

Children can understand loving others through everyday interactions: When they share a toy or candy with their siblings, when they express how they feel, when they show compassion… Even when they join forces with a friend to get into mischief.

As for parents, an excellent way to explain what love means is to help one another. But be careful!

We’re not saying you should do everything for your children and hover over them like a helicopter. Rather, we’re talking about offering assistance when your children need it or ask for it.

For example, it’s giving a hand when your children are picking up their toys and there’s one under the couch that they can’t reach. It also means working together as a team to set the table, serve dinner, wash the dishes and sweep the floor, etc.

“If our children see us showing love, they too will express it. It’s a question of showing love through small gestures and words every day.”

Love and other important values

Respect and love go hand in hand, and it’s also important that parents teach their children about respect

Respecting others doesn’t mean looking down on them or focusing on their weaknesses. Rather, it means accepting them and valuing them just the way they are.

There are many negative things that parents may say to one another in front of their children. For example, “you’re worthless,” etc. Then, the other parent may stay silent just to avoid making things worse.

However, when children witness this kind of situation, they may think that it’s okay to treat others this way. They may also come to think that defending themselves against mistreatment is pointless .

How to Explain What Love Means to Your Children

When little ones see their parents express affection, be kind, serve one another and work together to keep the house running, they learn how they should treat one another.

Being kind only to your children while not showing kindness to your partner in front of your children isn’t a good idea. If we fall into this bad habit, our children won’t understand how love applies to different situations.

We need to show how to be loving in all kinds of contexts. When we’re kind to our pets, to our neighbors and to complete strangers, we’re teaching our children a valuable lesson.

In conclusion, explaining what love means to children isn’t a simple task. It means being aware that our own habits and attitudes towards others will impact our children’s learning and future. Every detail counts in the process of raising and educating our children.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.