16 Ways to Show Your Child Love

shutterstock_129411473-1Parenting contains moments that go down as epic failures, only to be followed by precious moments of certifiable magic. Through it all, one constant remains: we love our kids.

As we struggle to parent effectively, keep food on the table, and prioritize family above all else, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of loving our children with intention. While we’d all like to believe that we’ve done a stellar job showing our children how much we love them, we owe it to our kids to remember that every child thrives on a heavy diet of deliberate love and affection.

As if you needed even more convincing to love up on your kids, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published study that found parental love and affection in early childhood leads to improved brain development in children.

So let’s make it a love fest up in here! Take a look at 16 simple ways to show your child love:

  • Keep your promises 1 of 16

    I don't have to tell you that kids remember everything. Be careful when making even small promises; failure to deliver can have a devastating effect on a fragile young heart. Keeping promises helps maintain your child's trust in you.

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  • Be fair 2 of 16

    Your child won't always like or even understand the decisions you make, but when using fairness as your guide, there's generally little to argue about. While life may not be fair, there's nothing that says you can't be.

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  • Comfort them 3 of 16

    Whether your child's upset because they've hurt themselves, spilled milk, or has their feelings hurt, your loving arms and open heart show your child just how much you care.

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  • Teach them 4 of 16

    You are your child's first and best teacher. Embrace your role as leader, primary example, and mentor!

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  • Spend time with them 5 of 16

    Nobody understands how busy you are more than your child. As someone who wants nothing more than to spend every minute of the day with you, your child is fully aware of how hard you work, how stressed you feel, and how little free time you have. It is for this very reason that carving out dedicated time to spend with your child makes them feel valued, special, and above all, loved.

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  • Listen to them 6 of 16

    You may not care about Adventure Time or the latest One Direction single, but you can pretend you do. Listen to the details of your child's day, ask about their interests and what's going on at school. You'll not only forge a more intimate relationship with your child, your open ears will teach your child that their voice matters.

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  • Talk to them 7 of 16

    Talking, while vitally important, is secondary only to listening. Encourage open communication with your child whenever possible and remind them that no matter is too silly or insignificant to discuss. As your child grows to face more complicated life challenges, they'll rely on your support and gentle guidance more than ever.

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  • Discipline them 8 of 16
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    While your child likely doesn't realize it, they need consistent boundaries reinforced by you to succeed personally, academically, socially, and professionally. Teach your child right from wrong and serve as an example of exemplary integrity within your home.

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  • Recognize them 9 of 16

    Congratulate your child for a job well done, recognize their efforts, and compliment them! Your child thrives on positive reinforcement and will be motivated to continue receiving it.

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  • Look them in the eye 10 of 16

    Direct eye contact tells your child that they are worthy of your undivided attention. Put down the cell phone, step away from the dirty dishes, and make the decision to be fully present for your child.

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  • Hug and kiss them 11 of 16

    While hugs and kisses may seem like an obvious way to show love, sometimes we get so busy that we forget to love up on our kids. So go ahead, step away from this slide and go squeeze and smooch your kiddo. We'll be here when you get back.

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  • Be thoughtful 12 of 16

    There are so many creative ways to be thoughtful to your child. From leaving a sweet note in their lunch, to surprising them with their favorite home-cooked meal, you'll never want to miss an opportunity to make your child smile.

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  • Advocate for them 13 of 16

    If your child is being treated unfairly or isn't receiving the support they need, step in and advocate on their behalf. Get involved, learn more, and take action; your child needs you.

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  • Get silly with them 14 of 16

    Sure, parenting is a lot of work, but it's also a whole lot of fun! Play pretend, crack jokes, and make funny faces - anything that gets you smiling!

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  • Help them 15 of 16

    Growing up is hard. From academics to challenging friendships and beyond, your child will need your support and guidance to succeed. Your patient and consistent support will help your child to reach their full potential!

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  • Be there for them 16 of 16

    There will never be another you in the eyes of your child. Knowing that you're always there will give your child the security and unconditional love they need to become everything they were meant to be. Parents, you are the answer.

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