Kids are a lot more observant than we give them credit for. They see your actions, your body language and they listen to how you speak. We can tell our kids that we love our spouse, but even more important, we can show them:
Speak kind words
When you speak to your spouse how do you sound? Are you using kindness or aggression? When you ask them to do something do you say please or do you demand? Make an effort to use conversations with your spouse to teach your own children. Let your kids hear you call your partner sappy nickname like honey, snookie or poopsie. This shows your children the playful nature their parent's relationship has while reminding you how much you love your darling.
It is also important to watch what you say when your spouse is not around. How you speak about someone when they are not there tells the truth about how you feel. If you complain about something they did that really bothered you, your kids will learn that is okay. They will automatically take sides and may use it against you both. If you are upset with your spouse, don't unload on your kids.
Support their decisions
When your spouse makes a decision, support them. I advise that when making any major decisions, you consult as a couple before making an announcement to the rest of the family. If that doesn't happen, support your spouse when they say something in front of the kids.
If your wife or husband disciplines a child, don't get in the way (as long as they are not hurting the child, of course). If your son is given a 5-minute time out, don't tell them they can come out after 3 minutes. This undermines what your spouse is doing, and shows your child they can fight back against their parents.
If you feel the punishment was unjust, speak with your spouse privately and try and understand their reasoning. Help them see why you don't agree, and talk about how to handle future situations. Parents need to be united. Don't let your kids challenge authority and divide you as a couple. Supporting your spouse shows your kids you respect and love them.
There is no better way to show your love for someone than by serving them. Making dinner, doing their laundry, ironing their shirts, and doing the dishes are all ways we can serve our spouse. Serve them without complaining is a way to show our kids we love them. Teach your children to serve as well. Have your kids bring your spouse breakfast in bed or mow the lawn without being asked. They will learn that love does not always mean you get something; love can be sacrificing and being happy when you make someone else happy.
Don't give up on them
We all get discouraged sometimes, but helping your spouse to stay positive through a hard time is one of the best ways to show your kids you love them. It is easy to love someone when they are happy and successful but loving through the hard times really stands out. You can teach your kids about compassion, empathy and true love by supporting and sticking by your spouse through the good and bad times.
When you do something fun for your spouse, get your kids involved. Let them help pick birthday presents or heart attack their bedroom door. These little acts can be simple, yet really show your love for your spouse. Teaching your child to be excited about doing something for someone else is a great way to help them learn that life is not about what you get, but what you give.
Be affectionate in front of them
The most obvious way to show your love is by being affectionate with your significant other. Kiss them, hug them, hold hands, dance with each other and sit next to them at dinner. Over time, it will make a huge difference in your lives, and the lives of your kids.
There are countless ways to show your love for someone, but it really is our actions that we do without thinking that drive the message home. Using kind words, supporting their decisions, uplifting them when they are down and serving them are little things we can do every day that show our love.