3 Ways to Tell Your Daughter You Love Her Without Words

One of my daughters routinely struggled with feeling anxious. We’d notice that she was quiet and closed off and would try to engage her in conversation, but that just made it worse. One day she said, “Dad, can we just go for a drive?” Thirty minutes in the car without speaking while listening to music worked wonders. From that point on, whenever she got into a funk, I wouldn’t try to talk to her; I’d say, “Hey, kiddo! Want to go for a ride?” And we would. No talking, just driving. And she loved it.

Going for a drive communicated to my daughter that I both respected her desire not to talk and was committed to being present with her.  I’m not recommending this exact action as a pattern for your child who is battling anxiety. It may or may not work, and driving isn’t the point. The point is that if you want to know how to tell your daughter you love her, words are important, but they aren’t sufficient. Here are 3 ways to tell your daughter you love her without words.

1. Presence

I think the key to driving with my daughter was simply giving her space to be with me and not feel pressured to figure anything out. She didn’t need me to solve her problems. She needed me to be with her. It was my presence that communicated love in a way that words just couldn’t. Presence is powerful. When someone is going through difficulty when they feel isolated or alone, they don’t need a pep talk; they simply need to know they aren’t alone. If you’re wondering how to tell your daughter you love her, make an effort to be present with her, even if you don’t have any idea what to say.

2. Attention

A million things are screaming for your attention, but the most urgent ones are rarely the loudest. If we’re not careful, the noise will distract us from the things—and the people—that matter most. Your daughter needs your attention. She needs you to listen to her story about that thing that happened in school today. She needs you to care about the band she loves and be interested in what she’s interested in. You know what it’s like when someone you look up to shows an interest in your life. It’s transformative. Your daughter needs to know that she’s interesting to you. Because if not to you, then is she of interest to anyone? If you’re wondering how to tell your daughter you love her, give her your attention.

3. Touch

I know that as your daughter ages, touch can become a touchy subject (forgive the pun). And certainly it’s important for you to be respectful and ensure that your daughter is comfortable with physical touch. That being said, continuing to offer physical affection to your daughter throughout her life is critical. A hug, a kiss on the forehead, an arm around the shoulder—these are wonderful ways to express affection to your daughter. Humans physiologically respond positively to physical affection from people they love. It’s a critical way to communicate your love to your daughter and model positive physical affection for her. If you’re wondering how to tell your daughter you love her, give her appropriate physical affection.

Sound off: What are other ways to tell your daughter you love her without words?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Do you know why I love you?”