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Show Your Son You Love Him with 15 Simple, but Powerful Actions

21 Feb 2014 – 03:52 AM EST

Boys are described with “noise covered with dirt” on Pinterest. How do you show your little guy you love him? It’s easy when they are sweet (and clean), but a bit more challenging at times during those terrible two’s and terrifying tween years. Here’s how to keep your bond strong every day, no matter what phase of life your in with your son.

  1. Get dirty together. Break out the finger paint or jump in a mud puddle.
  2. Let him help you fix stuff. Watch You Tube tutorials together when something around the house breaks and then give repairing it a go.
  3. Teach him to respect others – and himself. Talk about manners, being a good sport and sharing. Tell him teasing and hitting girls isn’t the best way to show them you like them.
  4. Give his biggest burps a high five. It’s okay to also insist he says “excuse me.”
  5. Coach his Little League team. This will put you in instant “cool mom” status.
  6. Collect bugs with him. Then hit the library to check out books to help you identify them.
  7. Don’t lock him into a gender stereotype. Don’t shame him for wanting to play with dolls instead of trucks or draw instead of play football.
  8. Never tell him, “Big boys don’t cry.” Society puts a lot of pressure on boys to be strong. Teach him he has the same right to cry as a girl.
  9. Let him see it’s okay to show emotion by letting him see you cry. Give him ideas for how to comfort you (hugs, tissues, ice cream, hot tea, talking about it).
  10. Give him input. Look through style magazines at the barber shop and have him pick out his favorites before his cut. Let him chose his outfit. Allow him to pick a treat at the grocery store.
  11. Learn the names of his favorite cartoon or video game characters, sports heroes and musicians. Then listen when he talks to you about them.
  12. Eat dinner together. Let him help you prepare it.
  13. Help him organize his Legos. Track down the sets he wants most for gifts.
  14. Step outside of your comfort zone with him. Catch a frog or go on a water slide together.
  15. Tell him you love him with your words, not just your actions. Say it a lot.

Little boys are full of cuddles and sweet compliments, but there’s lots of fun to be had with your son as he gets older. Create a strong bond now and it will carry into adulthood.