• 59°

Telling a child you love them

QUESTION: How do children really know that they are loved in their families?

ANSWER: Fortunately there are many, many ways to share love within a family. Here are some of them:

Speak kindly to your child.

•Say “I trust you.” Say, “I’m proud of you.” Meet eyes when you speak.

•Say “please” with your requests. Say “thank you.”

•Cheer proudly for your child. Celebrate successes.

•Keep confidences. Give and respect privacy.

•Set boundaries. Give clear expectations.

•Ask for ideas and suggestions. Create rules together.

•Set attainable goals. Allow for mistakes.

•Accept no excuses, bargaining or whining.

•Discipline in private. Implement consequences consistently.

•Stop what you are doing. Ask, “Do you want to talk?”

•Listen. Listen. Listen.

•Ask, “How can I help you?”

•Be ready to be there. Make free time.

•Smile often. Hug often.

•Welcome your child’s friends.

•Laugh when you are happy. Cry when you are sad.

•Explain why you are angry.

•Use a soft voice.

•Tell the truth. Say, “I don’t’ know” when you don’t.

•Ask, “How do you feel about … ?

•Accept responsibility. Say, “I’m sorry,” and ask forgiveness when you’re wrong.

•Make “I love you” the last thing you say every night.

•Say “Good morning” cheerfully every morning.

•Wish your children a “great day” when they go off to school.

•Keep your promises.


If you would like to talk with a parenting specialist about the challenges in raising children, call the toll-free Parent WarmLine at 1-888-584-2204/Línea de Apoyo at 877-434-9528. For free emergency child care call Crisis Nursery at 1-877-434-9599. Check out www.familiesandcommunities.org.