TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Valentine's Day is an
occasion for couples to reaffirm their commitment to each other,
but parents should show love for their children every day of the
year, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
The academy outlines 14 ways to do that:
Use plenty of positive words with your child and avoid sarcasm.
Never use put-downs.
Respond immediately and lovingly to your child's physical and
emotional needs, and always be available when your child wants to
talk with you.
When your child is angry, argumentative or in a bad mood, give
him or her a hug, cuddle, pat, secret sign or other gesture of
affection. Talk about the issue when he or she is in a better
Use non-violent forms of discipline and start using rewards and
restrictions many years before children become teens.
Set a good example at home and in public. For example, remember
to say things such as "I'm sorry," "please," and "thank you."
Make sure to spend time alone with your child doing something
he or she enjoys.
Have regular family game nights and let all family members take
turns choosing the game.
Having a family pet can encourage children to be physical
active, enhance their overall attitude and provide them with
constant companionship. A pet can be especially important for
children with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
Teach your children about healthy food choices by having them
cook with you.
Encourage and support children as they develop their skills and
abilities in all areas of their lives.
Take children to the doctor regularly for preventive health
care visits, protect them from accidents, provide them with a
nutritious diet, and encourage them to be physically active.
Assist children in developing positive relationships with
friends, siblings and members of the community.
Help children develop self-esteem by providing steady support
and encouragement, believing in them, loving them, spending time
with them, listening to them and praising their
Remember to say "I love you" to children of all ages.
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