Valentine’s Day is always a good time to remember how important it is to show affection…and in reality we parents hopefully show our children affection throughout the year. But we can all be reminded that children need to hear positive and encouraging words from parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents “avoid using sarcasm or mockery and get rid of put-downs” when talking to children. Being a good role model and modeling the behavior that you would like to see in your child is the key to positive parenting.
Children, like adults, can also get in bad moods. I sometimes see patients during clinic where the chief complaint from the parents is…”my child has to be sick because they are SO CRANKY!”. That makes me smile, as I remember days in my own home where I would say to myself, “if I wasn’t a pediatrician I would take my child to the doctor as there must be a reason for this behavior”. Actually, when your child is angry or even just in a bad mood try giving them a hug, cuddle or just quick kiss on the cheek to let them know you love them….and if they are older save the discussion for what is causing the moodiness for a later time. Picking the time for talking is really important…boy did I have to learn that!
It is always important to spend time alone with your child…even when life is so busy. Setting aside a special time each week for a game, a bike ride, or even a ball game gives your child something to look forward to. For Valentine’s Day what about making homemade Valentine’s for younger siblings or for the grandparents. All ages can be involved in this project and everyone cherishes a handmade Valentine.
One of the things I really love to do with my grandchildren is to bake cookies and decorate them together. So, we have a date scheduled to bake cookies this week and I have all of the icing, sprinkles and glitter ready for decorating…and giving for Valentine’s Day treats!!!