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Here are some ways to show your children you love them.

1. Find your child wherever he is in the house. Tell him you have something to say. Get to the child’s eye level, look him in the eye and say, “I love you!” Ask if your child would like a hug too! (Remember, it’s okay if he says no.) Do this when you and your child are alone and the statement isn’t linked with something he has done. 

2. Always try to separate the dislike of your child’s behavior from the feelings you have for your child. Associating a child’s character with her performance may damage her sense of self-worth.

3. Before taking your child of any age to the store, be sure he is not tired or hungry. Discuss the rules before you go inside. Be clear about what he may do, instead of what he may not do.

4. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

5. Trust your child is telling the truth. Ask for more information if you doubt what you’re hearing.

6. Take a few minutes to see the world through your child’s eyes. For example, plan to spend five or ten minutes in your child’s classroom looking at things when you go there.

7. Avoid labeling your child. Using words like “cry-baby,” “slowpoke,” “clumsy” and “shy” are hurtful.

8. When you pray with your family, name each child and thank God specifically for His gift to you. Resist imploring God to change the child’s behavior!

9. With enthusiasm, read that story one more time!

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By Susan E. Murray. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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