Book Review: I Love You Rituals

In our Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren support group, we enthusiastically share any new resources we have found to make our role more manageable, joyful, and peaceful.   One grandmother often shares about the books she’s read.   This one is for parents or (grand)parents.  Thank you Marcia Aegerter.


My new favorite book is “I Love You Rituals” by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D.  I am so excited about this book because it was a quick read which spoke to my heart and is full of easy to implement ideas for letting my granddaughter know I love her unconditionally!  The book is 10 chapters, but only the first 3 lay the basis for use of I Love You Rituals. Then comes many short easy suggestions to pick from, some of which you might discover you are already doing!

I am always on the lookout for books that will help me in parenting my grandchild.  All children need to know they are loveable and loved.  The grandchildren in our care particularly crave this message. This book came to me through my daughter’s mother-in-law…God works in mysterious ways!

Who Should Read?  I recommend all parents and grandparents read this book because it explains the importance of spending focused attention on your child in order for the child to know they are loved unconditionally.  While the “Rituals” are geared for infant-8 years, the first 3 chapters lay an important foundation that helped me apply the information with my 11 yr old granddaughter.  I also continued reading “How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk” with new enthusiasm, realizing that it offered to answer “what to do with the over 8 child.”

A few lessons that stuck with me from this book are

  1. Children want to be noticed, not judged.
  2. I Love You Rituals are typically quick: Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite! Short, but oh so important!
  3. It’s necessary for adults to reclaim parental power. “To find out who has the authority in a given situation, ask yourself, “Who is the ‘author” of this experience for me?”  If you believe that your children are driving you nuts, you are saying that they have the power to create your feelings for you.  They become the author of your life.  You have given away your authority to them.” p29

I’ve read or attempted to read a number of parenting books recently.  Usually, it takes me months to get through one.  I devoured this book (first 3 chapters) in days and enjoyed the time spent with it! My enthusiasm even convinced my husband to read it!  His comment was that he wishes he’d had it when our kids were little.  While it has so much good information applicable to all children,  it offered insight into some of my grand’s most puzzling attitudes and behaviors. The sections in Chapter 3 on “Using I Love You Rituals to help children under stress” and “I Love You Rituals and children who have experienced severe, chronic stress” were especially helpful.  And it offered me HOPE!  I can communicate unconditional love to my grand and over time, she can experience healing.


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