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Our little fellas run around in circles laughing at each other for no reason at all. It is very evident that they are kids. Something I think about often is the fact that they will not remain that way. One day, not too long from now big-picture speaking, they will be men. Since they are only two and four years old now, there are several important lessons that will just have to wait until they can process them fully. There are a few things that I do want to instill in them early, by teaching them now and reminding them often. One of those lessons, one of the biggest ones, is for them to know unquestionably that they are loved. With all that is going on in the world I can think of several reasons why this is a crucial lesson.

There are several messages that they will hear repeatedly about themselves growing up. As black men they will be perceived in unfavorable ways for simply being themselves. It will happen. I will equip them for this, as will their father – my husband, with the intent to empower and educate them. That being prepared does not of itself also mean that they will love who they are. Nurturing that will need to be direct and purposed. I want them to love themselves so fully that their regard for themselves helps them to truly regard others and guide them on their life’s journey. I want love to be their compass in a world were hate and fear cloud many and misguide several. All children should have this love cultivated in their lives. Just because my children happen to be boys – and emotionally intelligence is traditionally emphasized more for girls and women – does not mean I will assume that they will figure it out in favor of prioritizing other “more manly” lessons. ┬áJust because my children happen to be black – meaning there is a volume of social knowledge and skill they must be outfitted with – does not mean I will diminish the importance of self-love, worth and value.

I tell my sons everyday that they are kings, in an affirmation exercise we call “doing our truths”. I want them to know their innate worth. When I saw a Valentine’s Day themed affirmation idea in an email from Brilliant Business Moms, I thought it would be an excellent way to expound on our daily affirmations and share some special heart-day fun with my mini-kings. The 14 Days To Show Your Love activity encouraged moms to cut out little heart and star shapes and write one thing you loved about each of your children on one of the shapes. I decided to save all 14 of my love note shapes for Valentine’s Day to have a big surprise impact on that morning. I picked a mix of things I loved about their individual personalities, things they do well, and things every kid should hear like “I love being your Mom”. They enjoyed hearing me read through the garland of uplifting things. The idea of them growing to love themselves as much as I do, made my day.