Here are six practical ways to love the people who mean the most to you. Your VIP’s shouldn’t get overlooked, or at best, your leftover time. Prioritise them with these very practical tips.
My eldest daughter likes to writes notes and letters. One day she wrote a little note to me that really hurt.
It said, ‘To Mum, you never play with me anymore’.
Yes, I could say she was exaggerating and being overly dramatic. But essentially, it was true.
And it hurt…..a lot.
In fact, I couldn’t look at that note for a little while because it was too painful.
The busy mum bump-off
And even though I’m around my kids all day long, because we homeschool, there wasn’t a lot of playtime in the mix.
I knew it. And she knew it.
And what’s more, it wasn’t just my kids who were feeling the ‘busy mum bump-off’. My husband also wanted more of my time. It seems that quality time is a popular love language in my household!
I needed to invest in my key relationships, my very important people, my VIP’s. Because I don’t want my little girl falling into the arms of some no-good hoodlum bum because her mother didn’t spend any time with her and make her feel loved.
I want my kids to grow up well adjusted, with great self-esteem, knowing that I care deeply for them.
But actions speak louder than words…
So I wanted to share, for both our sakes, some practical ways to love those very important persons in our lives.Actions speak louder than words. Show some tangible love to the most important people in your life.Click To Tweet
6 Practical Ways to Love Your VIPs
1. Block off time in your diary
The most valuable resource you and I have is our time. And nothing conveys our love as much as when we sacrifice our time for those we love.
This could be through actually spending our time with them, or sacrificing our time to do something for them or serve them in some way.
So even if your VIP’s love language is acts of service, this is something that requires an investment of your time.
Regular or sporadic
Block off time in your diary. This could be a regular time that you’ve set aside to devote to being with them.
Or a sporadic time where you can put aside other commitments and responsibilities and focus on prioritising your VIP relationship.
Just make sure that this doesn’t happen too infrequently.
As a self-employed person, I know too well the pull of work and the downside of being in charge of your own hours.
Often being the master of your own hours means that you work ALL the hours! But it’s important that we are mindful of how much time (or not) we are spending with our VIPs.
Take stock and ask yourself when you last got a few hours with your husband or kids? With your parents or siblings? Of all the practical ways to love our nearest and dearest, this has got to be a top one.
If it’s been a while, schedule something in your diary today. Even if it’s for a date at some point in the future. Eventually, that date will roll around.
2. Gather around a favourite meal
Having a few people around a favourite home cooked meal, or even a favourite takeaway, can be the catalyst for a great and memorable time.
What are your VIP’s favourite meals? When did you last make them? Could it be time to dust off your apron and stock up on some fresh ingredients for a delicious dinner?
There’s a book called The Lifegiving Home I bought a couple years ago, which conveys the importance of belonging in relationships. Even simple food has the ability to make people feel loved, cared for, relaxed and open.
Dress it up or down
In A Woman After God’s Own Heart (which I LOVE), Elizabeth George suggests setting out a tablecloth and making the dinner table look special for your VIP’s.
This formal VIP treatment could indeed make your loved ones feel very special. But if your loved ones would feel intimated or uncomfortable by a more formal table setting, don’t bother.
Do what feels right for them. Will they feel more comfortable with a pizza and some good conversation? Or will a lovely table setting and a homemade lasagne and a bottle of Pinot Noir make them feel loved up and special?
You know the people in your life. So, treat them in a way that THEY would feel most loved.
3. Participate in an activity they love
My kids love playing. We play a game EVERY meal time without fail. But even though I play a game with my kids every meal time, my kids don’t see this as playing (remember that note I received before?).
When my kids think of playing, they think of physical activity and being completely involved in winning or accomplishing something.
It’s not really playing if we are just sitting down at a table and essentially talking. At least, not to my kids.
So, for me, it’s important to get involved in an activity which my VIPs love.
There’s a great resource from The Dating Divas called A Year of Family Dates that has some great family fun ideas.
I love The Dating Divas because their products are not just for couples, but also for families. And their products are colourful and fun!
Here are some other items from The Dating Divas that include some practical ways to love our VIP’s;
- Time With Your Teen
- A Year of Kid Dates
- Open When… (Letters For Kids)
- Mini Me Dates
- Road Trip Adventure Kit
- Family Camping Kit
4. Record an activity for posterity’s sake
I have to say that I am terrible at this.
I don’t take many pictures or videos. In fact, I frequently leave my phone at home!
But I know that taking photos and recording videos are a great way to preserve wonderful memories. And keeping them in a photo album or making a short movie with your videos can really make your loved ones feel super special.
If you use iOS devices, you might have access to an app or programme called iMovie. This is a great piece of software that makes it super easy to create a professional looking video in very little time.
My eldest daughter likes to create movies using this app herself. So if a kid can do it, it can’t be that hard!
Identify the keepers
When you take photos and videos, be sure to tag, star or highlight the photos that are definite keepers. That way, it’ll be easier to batch them all together and get them printed or collated for displaying on a digital photo frame or online photo album.
Some people go all in for nostalgia. My husband isn’t really one of them. Or perhaps I should say, he HASN’T been one of them in the past.
More recently, however, I’ve noticed that he’s enjoyed looking at photos of the kids when they were babies or videos of when they were really small.
People change. People grow. And keeping a record of events could be invaluable in the future as we can never get these times back. But if you’ve got photos and videos to look back on, you and your loved ones will be glad that you recorded some of it!
5. Create a tradition
Many traditions don’t begin as a result of intention. Often, we do something and afterwards think, ‘that was fun!’ Or ‘we should do that again’ and a tradition is born.
That’s how my family’s annual Christmas night-time walk came about. I’m sure there are things that you do on a regular basis that started out that way too.
Family traditions can be tremendously fun times of bonding and creating lasting memories. They can be the activities and events that shape our children.
Perhaps you can even think of a tradition from your childhood that’s had a wonderfully positive effect on you!
If you don’t have any traditions that you do with your kids or your spouse, I challenge you to intentionally create one. The only thing your tradition needs is to be enjoyable for your loved ones.
Make it easy to repeat
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. In fact, the simpler, easier and cheaper it is, the better the chance that you will continue it (especially if it occurs frequently).
Decide whether your tradition will happen every year, or month or week. Will there be other friends or family involved? Will someone be responsible for organising it?
The kinds of traditions you could create are limitless. They can be as quirky and unique as you are. And there are probably some strange and wonderful traditions out there that you and I would never have been able to dream up!
So, the practical ways to love your VIP’s can be endless.
If this one seems obvious to you, then you might not have an issue with this suggestion.
But many people don’t talk.
Talking can be a very simple, natural thing to do. Or it can be awkward, weird and uncomfortable.
If it’s weird and uncomfortable, that’s probably because you don’t do it often enough.
Like any habit or routine, it will feel strange and unnatural until it’s done regularly.
If you find that conversations are unnatural, you need to have more of them until they begin to feel natural, easy and simple.
Begin with light and surface conversational topics like the weather or what the other person is wearing. Talk about something you watched recently or something you read or heard.
Don’t begin at the deep end with philosophical questions or the meaning to life issues. These can come later!
Think of it like learning to swim. You’ve got to dip your toes in the water first rather than throw yourself in at the deep end without a floatation device!
And when you get to the stage where you can talk effortlessly and naturally, make sure you TALK! Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Discuss things that are on their heart. Talk about the future. Talk about the past. Talk about life.
These conversations have the power to bond souls and build lasting relationships that can weather any storm or difficulty.
So start building.
I hope you’ve got something that you can take away and begin using from these six practical ways to love your VIP’s. I need a continual reminder to block time off in my calendar, play games and take photos and videos.
Because actions speak louder than words.
What about you? Have you seen an action that you can do that will make an impact in the lives of those you love? Let me know in the comments!