The Best 24 Ways to Say I Love You To Your Child

1. Cuddles, kisses, and hugs. Lots.

2. When your child is talking, give your FULL attention. Look right in his/her eyes!

3. Take some time to watch your child. No, really watch. What interests him/her?

4. Prepare your food together. Nutrition is about so much more than just eating!

5. Can you laugh every time your child laughs? Try it! Share the joy in life, even if (especially if) it's completely and utterly rediculous!

6. When your child is resisting bedtime, try to remember what it was like to be little and wanting to stay up. Tell your child you understand how he/she feels.

7. Write a love note and leave it some place your child will discover it. If your child isn't reading yet, read it out loud together.

8. My mom always put little notes in my lunch box. They didn't always say "I love you" but they always meant it, and I felt it. If you have to be away from your child at all, this is a really nice tradition.

9. Tell a silly joke to your child, and then when he/she repeats it back to you a million times over the next several months, KEEP LAUGHING!

10. Before making blanket decisions for your child about clothing, food, ask his/her opinion and come up with reasonable options you are both happy with.

11. Allow your child the freedom to move at will - as long as it is a safe space for him/her to do so.

12. Don't expect your child to clean up or do for himself All The Time. Everyone deserves a little leeway now and then. Don't you like it when someone offers to take your dish to the sink or refill your water?

13. When your child is throwing a tantrum or is out of control, think to yourself - what is he/she frustrated about? How can I help?

14. Be silly and unexpected. Run and chase your child the house around sometimes. You might be surprised that you like it!

15. Tickle when your child wants to be tickled and STOP when your child asks you to stop.

16. Read stories over and over and over. What might be boring to you might be fascinating to your child and worth listening to again and again.

17. Share what you love, whether it's music or math or tech. Taking the time to share with your child your greatest joys in life is so meaningful to children.

18. Go outside and just BE together exploring nature. When your child is fascinated by a tiny slug or leaf on the ground, express great interest in the moment.

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    19. Let go of the expectation that your child must immediately comply with your requests all the time. If your child is not complying right away, ask yourself why and make note of it as something to discuss together in the future. This doesn't mean you don't follow through with logical consequences when necessary. Children need to know that someone is there to protect them.

    20. Use a respectful tone of voice. You don't have to talk to your child like an adult, but try not to overdo the baby talk. When children hear you talking in your normal voice with clear sentences while giving lots of eye contact, they feel like you are taking them seriously and not belittling them.

    21. When things go wrong and everyone is crying, just give up the ghost and snuggle it out (or do whatever it is your child is most comforted by). Life is too short to hang onto things that are hurting us. Giving up lets your child know that you value his or her feelings over activities and possessions.

    22. When your child is concentrating on an activity - whether it be picking up peas with fingertips or drawing with crayons, take care to step back and not interrupt unless it's absolutely necessary.

    23. When your child really wants to do something for him/herself, try your best to allow it. Whether it's picking ingredients for the morning's smoothie or putting on one's own coat, it's worth a little patience to see your child full of joy at life's little accomplishments.

    24. You notice I didn't say anything about buying gifts for your child. Buying gifts is fine! But it doesn't necessarily show love. The really important stuff is not in the possessions your child owns but in your relationship.

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