It is hard to express the love felt by a parent for a child. Showing that love through hugs, touch and words helps to build a child’s sense of security.
Saying "I love you”, comforting your child when he/she is hurt or afraid, looking at the situation from his/her point of view and listening to him/her are some of the ways we let children know we love them. Other ways to show love are to play and have fun, to encourage and to tell your child that you believe in him/her.
Providing children with routines and clear guidelines for behaviour also demonstrate love. Letting them know what you expect and reasons why you expect these things provides structure.
Structure includes supporting your child to succeed, encouraging their independent thinking and helping them learn from mistakes, giving them the information and support they need to succeed the next time.
Parents provide structure when they:
- explain reasons for the rules;
- prepare children for difficult situations by telling them what to expect and how they can cope;
- are fair and flexible;
- talk with children often;
- give them information to make good decisions; and
- act as positive role models.