Sometimes in our busy lives we forget to show how much we love our children.

Here are some ways to express your love in a language your young child knows:

  • Make saying, “I love you” an unconditional and routine part of your day. Say “I love you” after snack, at nap and bedtime, etc.
  • Make your expression of love specific too. Make comments like, “I love the way you laugh,” or “One of the reasons I love you is because you sing with me.”
  • Use words like “I’m sorry”, “please” and “thank you”.

Ways to show your love:

  • Respond promptly when your child is unhappy. Give him a hug and assure him of your affection while talking about his feelings.
  • Cuddle regularly. Physical touch is a powerful conveyor of love. Hold your child while he has a drink or watches a television program.
  • Spend time alone with your child doing something that he loves.
  • Share what you love with your child. Enriching activities like going to a ballgame or a zoo communicate that you want your child to love what you love.
  • Provide your child with lots of opportunities to get to know other children and adults. Receiving love and acceptance from others is important too.
  • Help your child discover what he does well. Finding a child’s areas of giftedness build his self esteem and capacity to love others.
  • Use plenty of positive words with your child and establish eye contact when encouraging/praising so you know your child has really heard you.

Ways to undermine your love:

  • Yelling at your child or others.
  • Spanking your child.
  • Making belittling comments and over using sarcasm.