There are parents who are afraid that they can't properly
express their love for their children. They feel, and rightly
so, that it isn't enough for parents to love their children;
they must acquire techniques to properly and sincerely
express their feelings to their children.
If during your childhood you felt loved, you are blessed.
Natural love flows from you to your children. But you also
have the day-to-day worries of work and home that lead you to
wonder if you are really bestowing heaping doses of affection
on your children. Forging a real quality bond between parents
and children is the best way to ensure a good flow of
communication. How can we assess the quality of our
communication with our children? Before you, a few daily
* Don't be embarrassed to say to your children, "I love
* Kiss, hug and stroke your children (as age appropriate)
* Ask your children's opinions in areas that feel comfortable
* Answer their questions patiently and thoroughly
* Raise your children to be responsible as age
* Create situations where you can boost your children's self-
* Surround your children with loving relatives and friends
It isn't easy to carry out these tasks. For many of us, the
list looms like a towering mountain. To make the tasks
easier, a few general rules:
Four rules a day:
Try to devote some time every day to each one of your
children. Put yourself in his shoes; try to understand his
wishes and how he thinks. Enjoy spending time with your
infant; play thinking games and do a puzzle with your
kindergarten-aged daughter; study for a test with your ten-
year-old son, or help your teenaged daughter to plan
something for the school party.
Remember: The child is the leader. You just copy what he does
without making suggestions or supervising his actions. When
the child spends time with you without any criticism from
you, he discovers his personality and feels loved, wanted and
"It's hard for me to find time, I'm so busy . . . " you're
probably thinking. If so, devote a few minutes to your child
but the main thing is to look at your child with eyes
overflowing with love, to listen to him seriously and to take
an interest in his needs.
B. THE POWER OF WORDS
Be aware of the power of your words. The way one speaks to a
child turns them into an ally or, G-d forbid, an opponent.
The child comes home from school grumbling. "I'm angry, the
teacher yelled at me today." Don't say: "I'm sure he had a
good reason," but say gently , "I'm sure you were embarrassed
when the teacher yelled at you."
As if by magic, your child feels that you understand and love
him. He knows you're always on his side and now the path is
clear to discuss the matter, "Why did the teacher yell at
you?" When we understand the child's point of view, we don't
make up for or justify their actions. In fact, because we
project understanding to our child, — "I'm sure you
were embarrassed," the child is open to receive what we have
to say and suggest.
Act with sensitivity and reason. React in a similar way even
when there isn't a problem.
Your daughter comes home excited: "Ima, my group won the
competition!' Don't say "Nu, nu," or "Please put your
schoolbag away." React with a question, "What did you win?
How many points did your group get?" Your question conveys:
"I heard you, I'm interested and want to hear more." This
kind of communication skill completes the circle of fruitful
talk. Interest demonstrates love.
Be patient with feelings. It isn't the end of the world if a
child doesn't express himself, or does so in a negative
manner. When you give a child names for his feelings like
fear, anger, disappointment, sadness or joy, you are helping
the child to put his feelings in order. Give legitimacy to
the child's feelings but limit his behavior.
A two-year-old toddler is very angry and as a result, he
tries to climb on the kitchen table. React with empathy but
firmness. "You are very angry, you want to stand on the
kitchen table, but I don't allow it." With your reaction, you
labeled his emotion and you stood by him in his temper.
Thereby, you help him contain uncontrolled behavior in the
future. When parents behave this way, the child learns that
he's not alone and his feelings are legitimate. The most
powerful way to express the bond between parents and children
is by creating a type of deep personal friendship between you
and your child.
We can express love and set limits simultaneously. When you
prevent your child from behaving inappropriately, he surely
feels distressed. However, in the long run, determining
behavioral lines that are clear and logical project the
message: "I am interested in your needs; you're very
important to me but I have the power and responsibility to
bring you up properly."
Behave wisely. When you say, "No," always try to include in
the prohibition a message of love: "I don't allow you to ride
the bike on the road. It's dangerous. It's only because I
love you very much." Check yourself often though to make sure
that the "no" is indeed for the child's benefit.
Evening. The children are sleeping. You're sipping a cup of
coffee in the kitchen and thinking about the day gone by. In
retrospect, it appears you wouldn't have won the "Mommy
Medal" today. You didn't pay enough attention, you were
impatient and the children fought. Try to go over the events
of the day but from a loving and understanding perspective.
How easy it is to understand everyone when you are
A well-based and secure bond of affection between parents and
children is like a life-saving anchor that a child can hold
to when he needs love for any reason. The bond is very
important for children. That is how they develop a natural
and healthy ability to give and receive love.
Devoted, quality and dependable care helps a child feel
secure. He isn't hanging on to his mother's apron strings,
isn't afraid to build new relationships, to investigate his
surroundings and to enlarge his social circles. The more
loved child is potentially more sociable and will realize his
intellectual talents to their maximum. If you were wondering
why and to what extent you have to express your love to your
children, you now have a few more excellent reasons to do