21 Ways to Show Your Son How Much You Love Him

Updated November 04, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Sonya Bruner

It is hard for some families to come right out and say, “I love you son.” For some, it just seems awkward to say. And, for boys who are growing up in today’s masculine society, it can be awkward to hear. However, there are many ways you can tell your son you love him without actually saying the words.

Making your son feel loved at all times is the best way to help him develop emotionally. Boys who have strong family bonds and are accustomed to giving and receiving acts of love are more likely to have healthy adult relationships. They are also more likely to not fall into the trap of toxic masculinity.

Recognize And Validate His Feelings

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One of the best ways you can tell your son you love him is by recognizing and validating his feelings. Too often boys are made to feel as though they cannot express or have strong emotions. Psychologists agree that this leads to increased depression in teenage boys. It is important that you let your son know that his feelings are important and valid and to help him work through his emotions in healthy ways.

Maintain Strong Family Bonding

Maintaining strong family bonds is important for the emotional health of boys. Our society tells boys that they must pull away from their families after toddlerhood, and again as adolescents. Show your son you love him by keeping the bonds strong between you. Show your son you love him by keeping your relationship strong.

Avoid Gender-Typing And Treat Boys and Girls Equally

Psychologists have found a trend that fathers tend to sex-type their children. This means that boys are typed to be masculine and in less emotional need than girls. This is a faulty philosophy. It is important that boys are treated equally to girls regarding emotional and psychological growth.

Treating your son the same way you treat your daughters tells him that you love him for who he is, regardless of his gender. It opens up the possibility of putting aside masculine stereotypes and allowing him to grow to be a healthy, well-adjusted adult.

Praise Him Often

Telling your son that you are proud of him is a great way to say, “I love you son.” Praise your son for good behavior, good choices, and good responses. Praise him for his accomplishments, big and small. Praise him for a job well done, and for being responsible. This does not mean praising him for everything; the praise needs to be accurate and meaningful, or it will lose its effectiveness. Praising him when warranted will help him recognize that your love and appreciation.

Be A Good Listener

A great way to show your son you love him is to simply listen. Being a good listener can be difficult for a parent. Your job is to teach and lead your son, and as such, it is common to listen only to respond, rather than truly listen and understand. Listen to him talk about the things that are important to him or the things that are going on in his life. If he needs your advice and help, he will make that clear. Simply be there as a sounding board so that he knows he can come to you with any problem.

Be Physically Present

Being physically present is one of the best ways to say, “I love you son.” Everyone is busy. Especially in households where both parents work, and multiple children have activities, it can be difficult to make time to attend events. However, being present is extremely important to your child.

Make time to attend that game they are playing in, or that theater performance. Be present for as many activities as you possibly can.

Create Habits And Traditions

Creating habits and traditions that are unique and special for you and your son is a great way to show him you love him. These can be small habits, like a bedtime routine, or they can be major traditions such as an annual football game. Make it something special that you do on a routine basis, and that is shared just between you and your son.

Offer Encouragement

Offering encouragement to your son is important. Even if you may not understand his goals or why something is important to him, offer him encouragement for a job well done. Let him know you love him by encouraging him to try new things and letting him know you have faith that he will be successful in all that he does.

Celebrate Accomplishments

Celebrating accomplishments is another way you can show your son love. Whenever he accomplishes something big or small, reward him with verbal recognition, or occasionally some special activity or treat. Every accomplishment can be celebrated in some way. Even if all you do is make his favorite meal for dinner or treat him to ice cream for dessert, you are showing him that you are proud of his accomplishments. Rewards for accomplishments can be big or small, but the important thing is to celebrate it in some way.

Ask For His Opinion

Asking your son for his opinion is a good way to show him that you love and trust him. You can ask his opinion on something as trivial as what to have for dinner. Or, you could ask him his opinion on something much more important, such as national or international events.

Asking your son for his opinion doesn’t just show him you love him, it also opens the doors of communication. It lets your son know that you value what he has to say. This will make him more likely to say what is on his mind, and express himself in healthy ways.

Show Trust

Showing trust is another way to show your son you love him. Trust him when he goes out with his friends. Trust him when he tells you his version of events that may have happened at school or elsewhere. Trust him when he says he will do something within a certain amount of time.

Trusting your son may be difficult, especially if he has given you a reason not to trust him in the past. However, while building this level of trust may not be easy, it is a healthy thing for both of you to do. When trust exists, you will spend much less time worrying. Also, your son will be more likely to come to you with problems knowing that you will trust what the is telling you.

Be Accepting

Be accepting of your son, even if you don’t agree with him or understand his choices. If your son is a book nerd or loves to dance, accept that about him and don’t ridicule him for it. It may not be something you like or understand, but it is important to him. The more you are accepting of your son and who he is as a person, the closer the two of you will become. It builds trust, communication, and love.

Ask About His Day

Ask your son about his day, every day. Don’t just ask, “How was your day?” This will likely be met with a noncommittal “Fine.” Instead, ask your son specific and open-ended questions about his day that will lead to meaningful conversation.

One idea is to ask your son what his favorite part of the day was, and then ask him what the most challenging part of his day was. When you ask your son specific questions like these, it shows him that you love him enough to be truly interested in how he is doing.

Be Forgiving And Teach Him to Learn From Mistakes

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It is important to be forgiving when your son makes mistakes. When you are forgiving and show him love even in light of his mistakes, it can help him grow as a person and have trust and faith that you will always be there for him.

Teaching your son that everyone makes mistakes is important for healthy psychological development. Responding with harsh punishment for mistakes will drive a wedge between you. However, even when you do have to discipline your son, this can be done in a loving and teachable way, and followed with forgiveness.

Make Time For One on One

Especially in a big family, one on one time can be hard to come by. When you make time for one on one time with your son, it shows him that you love him enough to make him a priority. If you have several children, you should be scheduling one on one time with each of them as frequently as possible.

Ask About His Favorite Things and His Interests

Ask your son about his favorite things and his interests to show him you love him enough to care about what he cares about. Ask him about his favorite video game, his favorite musical artist, or his favorite fandom. If you can, participate with him in some of these activities, such as playing his favorite board game.

Take His Problems Seriously

To a pre-teen or teenage boy, things can seem like they are life and death when really, they are fairly minor in the grand scheme of things. However, the problems that your son is facing feel very real and serious to him.

When you take his problems as seriously as he does, you are showing him that you love him enough to validate his feelings. He will also be more willing to come to you when future problems arise if he knows that you will always take him seriously.

Discipline With Love

Disciplining with love is very important for boys. You must, of course, discipline your son when he does wrong. It is important that discipline is appropriate and teaches a lesson. However, how you discipline can make a big difference.

If you only discipline by assigning a punishment and never really speaking of the problem, your son will assume that all problems will be met in this manner. They may think that you don’t love them and that you are just punishing them because you have the power as the parent. Making sure that your son knows that you love him even while receiving punishments is very important for strengthening and maintaining your bond.

Spend Time Just Talking

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Spend some time just talking to your son. You don’t have to have any particular topic in mind. Casually talking to your son might be awkward at first, but eventually, it will become natural with practice. You can talk about literally anything. The important thing is that you are spending time with him, hearing his thoughts and opinions on different issues, and opening up teaching moments for life.

Empathize With Him

Whenever possible, empathize with your son. You may not think that what he has going on in his life is important, but it is important to him. When you show empathy, you are showing him that you remember what it’s like to be young. You are showing him that you love him enough to give him validation and at least make an attempt to understand where he is coming from.

When Relationship Is Strained

Sometimes in spite of your best efforts, your relationship with your son could become strained. If you feel that your son doesn’t know how much you love him or your bond is not as strong as it could be, getting some help might be in order.

A good therapist can meet with you and your son individually and together to help you work through your problems. They can help you learn to communicate with each other more effectively. They can also give you more ideas on how to show your son you love him while raising him to be an effective adult.

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