Children Need More Than Chocolate on Valentine's Day

Tips on how parents can show their love all year round

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Valentine's Day isn't just an opportunity to express your love for your significant other. It's also a good day to let your children know how much you love them.

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.

More Information

The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has an information booklet about parenting.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, February 2003

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