But don't limit that show of affection to just one day a year. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips on how parents can demonstrate how much they care for their children every day of the year.
The advice includes:
- Use plenty of positive words with your child.
- Banish put-downs from your parenting vocabulary. Respond promptly to your child's physical and emotional needs.
- Go the extra distance to set a good example at home and in public. Use words like "thank you," "please," and "I'm sorry."
- When your child is in a bad mood, angry or argumentative, give him a hug, cuddle, pat, or other kind of affection that he likes.
- Use non-violent forms of discipline.
- Spend time with your child alone doing something she enjoys.
- Help your child develop self-esteem. You can do that be providing steady support and encouragement in order to help your child discover her strengths.
- Say "I love you" to children of all ages.
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has an information booklet about parenting.