Sunday, September 04, 2011

Love at Home

How to engender more love in the home by showering your children with "I love you."

Do you like how I keep putting our vacation pictures into posts that don't really have anything to do with vacation? It's my sneaky plan of somehow putting all the pictures on the blog since we all know I'm not going to actually blog about it until Bria is in college....Anyway, this is my mom and the girls and the Chicago skyline. Lots of love here.
I know I skipped last week, but I am still totally on the Project Walking into a Hug wagon. Do not fear!

So, last week's goal was to consistently administer consequences (found in the Family Rule Book) without emotion.  Now, I know this is really going to surprise a lot of you, but I am a very emotional person.  It is hard for me to do anything without emotion.  Naturally, when my kids are being less than the little angels I know they are, it is especially hard to remain unemotional.  So this has been really good practice for me this week.

And hello?  I knew this, but it's nice to have empirical data to prove that not getting upset or over emotional when you are disciplining the children totally works wonders.  While I have had to bite my tongue and take deep breaths about eleventy billion times this past week, the results have been so very worth it.  This afternoon I even heard Bria and Chloe working out a little argument that they'd had, and they were calm about it (mostly).  While I was eavesdropping on them, it really hit me that if I am going to freak about everything, so will they.  And when they have a mother who has been striving to "Keep Calm and Carry On," then they will start trying to do that as well.

It isn't rocket science.

But it isn't exactly easy, either.  (My tongue may have sustained permanent damage this week, and I probably got a better oxygen supply than usual.)

This week's goal is Love at Home.   We are to shower our children with "I love you."

This one isn't too difficult for me, luckily, but I am really going to step it up a notch.  I plan on telling them much more often and leaving them notes and things all over the house.

One of the things I did a little bit last year and plan to start up again this week, is a love notebook for each child.  I will just write a little love letter in the notebook and leave it on her bed while she is at school.  Then, if she wants, she can write a note in the book for me and leave it on my bed.  Chloe especially (she is definitely my love note writer) really got into this.

Another idea is to leave notes in their lunchboxes.  I have seen numerous free printables on Pinterest (holy cow what a fun website!) for cute little lunchbox things.  (Click here, here, here, here, here, here, and here to see them.) Also, when I was in Utah this summer I went to Deseret Book three times and dropped a small fortune there (apparently I am very deprived of Mormon merchandise!).  Part of that fortune was spent on these cute Lunchbox Love Notes and I am super excited to always leave some sort of fun note or something in their lunchboxes this school year. 

I have an extra Lunchbox Love Note pack, and I would be happy to send it to one of you!  It isn't much, but they are really cute and fun.  Leave a comment and tell me some of the things you are doing to "shower your children with love" right now.

Tomorrow we have our Back to School to come!
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. My two favorite phrases from this post are "eleventy billion" and "Mormon merchandise." Loves.

    As for keeping calm, I have been the voice of reason in this house for the last few months. Don't ask me why (ok, maybe do, and when you do, I'll tell you it's probably the meds), but I have been able to stay even-keeled and calm despite the craziness that is my household as of late. Mark doesn't appreciate my constant reminders to stay calm, but since the kids deal with me more often than him, I think my way really works!

    Besides, I grew up in a yelling household. I wouldn't wish that on anyone's kids. The buck stops here. (Yeah, probably not the right phrase for this particular situation, but since we're cousins like 12 times removed I'm going to assume you catch my drift. Hmmm there's another interesting phrase. Ok, stopping now.)


  2. It is SO hard for me to be non-emotional. I yell when I'm happy, when I'm excited, and when I'm angry. And I'm not making an excuse there, I's just not in my nature to ever be soft-spoken. So when I'm flustered or mad, it's just an uphill battle. I think I've gotten a bit better over the years, but I know I have a long way to go. I hope I make it while the kids are still home!

    The increased I-love-yous, though, that I could conquer!

    Good for you, all of this effort. It's inspiring!

  3. Ok, so I did some looking back at previous posts to figure out the "Walking into a Hug" reference ... and then I saw that I have that darn book on my shelf and have never opened it! SHEESH! That will be on my nightstand now. Thx for the kick in the patootie!

  4. "...if I'm going to freak out about everything, then so will they." Seriously. That is so where we are. I missed that last time, so this week I'll do the I love you AND the unemotional discipline (which I've been getting better at...)

    And I ONCE left a note in my kids lunchboxes (yes, only once) and they both were like, "Why did you do that?" I said, "BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, DUMMIES!" Just kidding.

  5. I need to work on the non-emotional thing too. I tend to flip out and lecture, and I see the girls' eyes glaze over. I also need to work on being more physical- my girls crave physical touch and that's a hard one for me.

  6. I have often heard that it is important to stay calm, but I never thought it could help the kids with their own arguments. It totally makes sense. I really need to work on this. And I love the lunchbox idea. I want to do that for my husband. He just started work again and I am in charge of packing his lunches. Really, a lovely idea.

    I try to spend one on one time every day with my kids. Usually during the other's nap time. We cuddle and read and talk about their day. It is nice. I always give a kiss and tell them I love them at the end. It isn't hard to love my kids, though, I must say. :)

  7. Great post! Not a shocker though! My favorite thing for Elodie is to leave little notes in her lunchbox too. When she gets home in the afternoon she snuggles up to me and says "I got your note" In a sly bashful way. I love it.
    For Addysen it's all about snuggles. She is still a huge blanket/thumb fan and if she is tired she wants to snuggle.

  8. Interesting story on these lines about a respected Rabbi from I think around the turn of the century. He had a special hat that was his "anger hat" and he would only allow himself to be angry at his children when wearing this hat. By the time he would find the hat, his head had cooled and he was able to deal with the situation in a level headed way. He would then give the hat to the child and have him/her hide the hat for the next such occasion.

  9. I think sometimes I feel successful when I just make it through the day without someone having a major meltdown (myself included). I am trying to shower my children with love by taking time with them each alone daily. It is hard, but well worth the effort.

  10. Love the love note idea. I remember getting notes from my mom in my lunchbox:)

    And I love Chloe's face in the picture. Cute and sassy:)

  11. There've been some great suggestions here! (I love the hat idea!) I've been trying HARDER to just not yell. To visualize the kind of mom I want to be and to be calmer when I'm upset or frustrated. And to take the 5 minutes when one of my kids asks, "will you read me this book" or "come look at my legos", or "will you cuddle with me first tonight?". Tonight I listened to a talk by Lynn G. Robbins from April 2011 General Conference that had some good ideas on discipline and examples. Tomorrow I'm going to READ it! I'm going to have to check out this 'Hug' book, too. Great post, though!

  12. I've been thinking about leaving lunch notes for my kids...I've done it a couple of times this year so far, but maybe I could get a little more creative than cutting up a piece of notepad paper. :)

  13. "It's not rocket science"
    So so so so True!

    Once my husband and I figured that out and put it into practice, things changed at our house.

    Harder now that I am older. You think it would be easier, but nope.

  14. I forgot to say - those party hats are fantastic!