I agree that we should not love in words only, but in deeds and actions, and I also agree that most of the times deeds and actions speak louder than words.
However, in my relationship with Alex, I do believe that I need to express my love to him in words everyday. “Mommy love you, Alex.” These comforting words always put a smile on his face and they are usually spoken when he just wake up from his nap, when we are playing and cuddling each other, and also before his bed time.
By saying those words to him sincerely, I really hope that he will be assured and believe that I love him for who he is, regardless of his misbehavior and weaknesses.
And especially at his age right now, when he can only think of himself. It is hard for him to understand that I love him when I decline his requests or when I do not give him what he wants. Even though I never say “I love you” when he is throwing his tantrum (not a good timing), but I always make sure that I’ll say it when we are playing or having our bonding time afterwards.
Of course, all those words must be followed by deeds and actions, eg. prepare his meals, feed him, clean his mess, etc. But at his age right now, I think he can get my love message best through my hugs, kisses and when I gently say “Mommy love you, Alex”