Sometimes we are so focused on helping kids, we forget that they have much to teach us. As well as talking, singing, reciting, playing with and reading aloud to our children, we need to listen to them. Because today is Valentine's Day, here are some answers from a group of 4 to 10 year-olds who were asked, "What does love mean?"
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." (Rebecca - age 8)
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." (Billy - age 7)
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." (Karl - age 5)
"Love is sharing even if you think you don't have enough." (Chrissie - age 6)
"Love is like medicine, and hate is like poison. If everybody knew that, we'd all be happy." (Keisha - age 8)
"Love is what makes you smile when you're too tired to think." (Terri - age 9)
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." (Danny - age 7)
"Love is the quiet sound in the room when the people you care about are all together." (Luis - age 10)
"When you love somebody, it doesn't matter if they're gone for a little while or forever. You still find a way to love them." (Karen - age 7)
"My mommy said they adopted me because they wanted one more way to grow love in our family. She said I grew in her heart, not in her belly." (Hector - age 6)
"Love is when you tell a boy you like his shirt, and then he wears it everyday." (Noelle - age 7)
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other much too well." (Tommy - age 6)
"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and I saw my daddy waving and smiling. I wasn't scared anymore. Love does that." (Cindy - age 8)
"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night, do you?" (LaShonda - age 6)
"Love is when Daddy looks at me and calls me his little flower that's always in bloom. You get the picture." (Elaine - age 9)
"Love is when Mommy sees a picture of my family on the wall and stops to look a little extra long look at it." (Chris - age 7)
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." (Mary Ann - age 4)
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People might forget." (Jessica - age 8)
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, really. I just helped him cry."
Thanks to Jack Levine, from 4 Generations Institute, for permission to use these lovely quotes. I get Jack's newsletter and very much appreciate reading his positive thoughts and wisdom. You can subscribe by sending your name and email address to:Photo credit,