Your kids shrug when you say it. It feels weird if someone else is around. It’s a cliche. They already know how you feel. You’ve said it before. They’re ripoffs from Mr. Rogers.
We have a million reasons not to say these words, but all of them are wrong. It’s impossible to say them enough:
I love you.
I’m proud of you.
It’s you I like.
You are special.
You are enough.
You’re the most important thing in the world to me.
At the end of your life, do you think, for one second, that you will kick yourself for saying that too much? Or, is it more likely that you’ll wish you’d said those things more? Because it would absolutely kill you if you thought for one second that they might not know, that they might not feel in their hearts, how much you loved them, how proud you were of them, how nothing—success, money, or lack thereof—could change what they meant to you from the moment they were born.
Life is full of risks. To do big things requires taking big gambles. This is not one of those gambles you want to take. So say it. Tell them how you feel about them. Say it again and again and again.
It’s impossible to do it too much…but you might as well try.