The meaning of ‘I love you’

by Lukasz Laniecki


Don’t just say I love you.

Tell them what it means.

When a child says I love you to his / her parent I guess it means one of the following (or a mix):

  • thank you
  • I feel safe with you
  • you give me security
  • I know you don’t want to hurt me
  • I know you care about me
  • I know you didn’t mean to hurt me
  • I’m happy
  • I like to be with you (it feels nice)
  • I like to play with you (it feels nice)
  • I know I can count on you
  • I trust you (I know I may trust you)
  • you showed me that what I say or feel matter to you
  • you care about my needs
  • you showed empathy
  • you tried to undestand
  • you believe me (even though sometimes I like to make things up)
  • you didn’t judge me
  • you accept me
  • you didn’t try to fix me
  • you gave me freedom (with boundaries)
  • you asked me for my opinion
  • you let me make a choice
  • you let me explore
  • you understood that my needs might be different than your needs
  • you didn’t laugh at my imperfections in order to gain popularity among your friends, family members or acquaintances
  • you were honest
  • you hugged me when I needed it
  • you let me be alone when I needed it
  • you prepared my favourite meal
  • you bought me my favorite chewing gum
  • you spent time with me and you were present
  • you didn’t play a know-it-all
  • you were flexible
  • you stood up for me
  • you were patient and gave me time to learn certain things.