Letting children know they are loved on Valentine’s Day and everyday
Reinforce the message of love to the child in your life.
Do you still have an old valentine card that your parent gave you a long time ago? Or maybe you kept a note or letter your parent wrote to you and it was signed “with love.” Perhaps the reason you keep it is because it means something to you or becuase it’s precious to you.
On Valentine’s Day and everyday, children of all ages need to know they are loved. Author Frank A. Clark wisely said, “A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it.” Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, it is important to reinforce the love message to the child in your life. As a parent, foster parent or caregiver, you are in an important position to give the child in your care the love they need. You might wonder, what does your child need and how you can show that you love them.
Michigan State University Extension recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics as a trustworthy source for parenting knowledge. On their website they offer 14 Ways to Show Love for Your Child this Valentine’s Day. Their Valentine’s Day tips highlight topics that show love by addressing important areas of your child’s life, such as:
- Being available to listen
- Not using put-downs in your parenting vocabulary
- Giving a hug or pat when your child is in a bad mood and talking with them about the issue when they feel better
- Use non-violent methods of discipline
- Plan time alone with your child or teen and do something they enjoy
- Make Valentine’s Day cards with your children or mail a card to your teen
- Owning a pet can help children feel better, especially children with disabilities or chronic illnesses
- Read with your child often and limit computer and video games
- Help strengthen and protect your child with preventive health care visits and encouraging exercise
- Encourage your child toward positive relationships with their friends, siblings and community
- An important gift to your child is helping them to develop self-esteem. The consistent support and encouragement a parent gives can help children discover their strengths
- Say “I Love You” to children of all ages!
By understanding what your child needs to develop a healthy life physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively and by addressing those needs, you show love in action. Your valentine message can help reinforce the love you want firmly planted in your child’s heart and mind.