Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toddler Milestone: Unsolicited Affection

To all of you parents who have a child under two years of age - hold on, it just keeps getting better!

When my daughter was first born, I really didn't understand my relationship with her at all.  All she did was cry and poop.  I knew I loved her, but Mommy provided for all of her needs.  I just kept the mortgage paid up so she didn't have to live in a cave with bears.  Once she reached the age where she could smile back at me, I was hooked.  I knew she was human. I knew she could respond to emotion. 

I knew that she would have me wrapped around her finger. 

My wife and I have noticed that our daughter has started giving unsolicited affection.  There is nothing like hearing your child randomly say, "I love you."  She will also give us unsolicited hugs and kisses.  This is the stuff that melts your heart, folks!  Just when you think you love your kid more than you ever could, they show you love unsolicited, and you just gotta ratchet that love meter up another notch.  

But she doesn't stop there.  She now repeats phrases that we have said to her in the past, but she says them on her own, and she really means them.  She uses phrases like, "You take good care of me," "God made me special," "I want to help people."  How sweet is this kid?!  

I'm sure life is full of moments like this, but I am committed to savoring each one for as long as possible.  I hope that my sharing them with you helps you to slow down and remember these moments with your own kids.

Remember, your child can't show you unsolicited affection if they have never seen it with their own eyes. Go hug your kid.  Tell them you love them.

Make sure to check back on Friday when we will have another edition of Real Fatherhood Stories featuring Aaron of DadBlunders.com.


  1. So very true! I hug my son, kiss my son and tell him I love him everyday. I know that by doing this I help build confidence in himself and let him know that he is loved. I never force him to do any of these things back. Sometimes he will give them freely and other times he wants to see what my reaction will be by not doing it.


  2. What an incredible feeling. Here's something I'm proud of: my kid says he loves us SO many times during the day that I'm actually worried that he's devaluing the idea of love! I mean, one day, he told me he loved me 32 times - which is AWESOME! But sometimes, I think he says it...just to say it. Am I a fool to want him to cut down? Maybe. But the sheer fact that he heard my wife and I saying good things and wants to repeat it...is awesome. For every one time he repeats me saying "damn it" he says "I love you" 20 times. You can't ask for a better little mirror.

  3. I don't think you can say that phrase "too much" especially as a child. Without being old enough to evaluate the sincerity of the statement, he can't possibly devalue it. Now, if you could just quit cursing! Although, that does limit the jokes for your podcast... keep cursing, just do it quietly or when he's asleep.

  4. And I'm sure your reaction is to love him even more! Thanks for the comment.

  5. Well of course...I think he would have it no other way....lol

  6. I suppose you're right about the devaluation. And usually, he says it in conjunction with running over and hugging. So...it's all good. Ugh and the cursing. I've been good about keeping most of it to myself, but I'm having a problem with the "tier 2 curse words" like "jesus christ," "stupid," "oh my god," "idiot," etc etc. They're not super BAD words, but the context I use them in is not great for my kid to learn. Still better than when he hit his knee on something, sat down and said "ow, my fuckin' knee" in a perfect tone. Gahhhhh...kids are mirrors.



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