Love Language - from Infant to, to preschool to adulthood
When our first child was an infant, we read many books, listened to many CD's (the 90 minutes drive on the 405 freeway was helpful) and looked for other resources to get us through the process. One of the books that we came across was a book by Garry Chapman with the Title "5 Love Languages" (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/). As our children were through the toddler and preschool ages we used many resources to guide us through a task that we felt we were not ready.
Mark Twain said "I can live for two months on a good compliment". Our little men and women who rule our lives needs words of encouragement and advice from their parents. When our oldest was in middle school, we asked him "How do you know if your Dad/Mum love you" and he said "Dad is always wrestling with me and mum always hugs and kisses me" which showed his need for physical touch at that point.
As our kids grow up they grow through many trials and tribulations. However, having an emotional tank that is full will help them to make the right choice. When a child is young those cuddles and kisses and fun wrestle matches are important. This aspect of human physical touch is also important as they grow up. Our children went through Simi Valley Montessori school and were constantly encouraged and hugged by the different teachers from their infant days to toddler period to prekindergarten/preschool age. Even now, we try our best to give everyone a good night kiss/hug as well as a good morning kiss/hug, although I have to say that as they become teenagers they try to be "too busy" for that.
Words are important to any child at any age. Remember the first time your child started walking and how you encouraged them to take the next step. That level of encouragement is important all throughout their lives. We should not forget those encouraging words when they become teenagers, when they become young adults.
As we went from our first to the second to third, it was hard to give quality time to each of them individually. Everyone had their own personality and choice while at times they were so much alike. At a young age, we tried doing "dates with mommy and Daddy" and that way were able to take them out without other distractions and give them full focus. That sense of your parents always being there for you is a blessing that the kids will begin to understand and grow with. This has opened the line of communication and helped to create an environment where they feel that they can discuss anything that bothers them. As they get into become teenagers and believe that they have conquered the world, the one on one dates become harder to do but still an important aspect of it. That bond you create with them at a young childhood age will be there even when you grow old.
My wife loves to shower everyone with gifts. Our kids were constantly pleasantly surprised with clothes and other things. This idea of giving and taking care of people you love can also be seen as they get older and get to have other important people in their lives. After all - who does not like a gift?
I remember having to go up and down six times in the car a day to drop the kids to their school and other extra curricular activities. When you do that with love, it shows to them the pillars of love and encouragement around them and builds them up to be positive and caring people.
Life is limited in time and don't waste another second without letting your kids (young or old) know on how much you love them.