I have always hugged my daughters and told them they are loved at every available opportunity. And now that they're older I can’t see any reason to stop. Over the years I suspect they mostly learnt to take this for granted and often when I’m dishing out words of affection it's received with... 'Oh Mum,' and closely followed by a sigh. Just occasionally the gesture gets reciprocated and that makes me very happy indeed. Now that both daughters are away at university (and I don’t get to see them until the holidays) I’ve resorted to writing letters and emails that end... Hugs and kisses, Mum xx
I’m not convinced either daughter appreciates the gesture.
During my daughters' sometimes challenging teen years I never expressed that they weren't loved… even in the middle of a row. If I was mad with either of them, I'd say, 'I love you, but I don't always like what you're doing.' I guess you have to remember you're the adult, no matter how bitter the argument.
I have a nephew, he's twelve years of age, gorgeous and mischievous and I know I'm going to have embarrassed him by saying that. My sister tells her son each and every day how much she loves him and he's started to resent this, just like my daughters did a few years ago.
During a recent visit to my sister's house I was chatting to my nephew and as he’s in training to be a teenager, he was not amused that his mum was dishing out her daily dose of affection.
'So, who's crazier then... me or your Mum?'
'You're both as bad as each other,' was his honest reply.
'Do you want to know why?' I asked.
'I guess so,' he said.
'Well, how would you feel if no one ever said that they loved you and you didn't feel as though anyone cared at all?'
'I guess I'd feel sad,' he said.
'Exactly, I said.'
I don't suppose he'll do anything but protest the next time his mum tells him how much she loves him... but maybe my nephew will remember our conversation and think about what life would be like if no one said those three little words at all.
Until next time...
Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton