Most parents love and care for their children, but sometimes a child may not know she is loved. She may feel that no matter what she does, her parents don’t love her. Other times, she may think that her parents only love her when she is good.
Being loved is not the same as feeling loved. It’s not enough to know that you love your child; you must be certain that she knows it. As a parent you assume your child knows you love her, but that is not always true.
For a child, it’s the small things that count. A smile, a hug and your presence can let her know you love her. On the other hand, your tone of voice, words or gestures can give your child the wrong message. If you are always in a hurry, your child will think that you are too busy to pay attention to her. If you only show that you love her when she does something to please you, she might start to feel that you are not happy to have her.
Children who don’t feel loved behave very differently from those who do. A child who feels loved is not afraid to try new things, and she knows that if she fails, she can count on her parent’s support. These children don’t need to try hard to prove themselves to others that they are worthwhile.
To make sure your child feels loved:
- Be careful about what your words and actions might say to your child.
- Don’t wait until she does something to please you to let her know you love her.
- Be patient and understanding about her mistakes.
- Don’t criticize her in front of others.
- Take time daily to listen and talk to her and show interest in her activities.
- Hug her and kiss her.
- Let her know that no matter what happens, you will always love her.
For more information contact Patrice Dunagin, Smith County FCS agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, at 903-590-2980.