Expressions Of Affection

by Martine Bacci-Siegel
February is the month of love.  It isn’t just about cards, flowers and chocolate. 
Recent national studies affirm the importance of love and caring in families. Research shows that expressions of affection toward children reduce problem behaviors and enhance children’s development.
Love is the single most important principle of parenting.  If children do not feel cherished and loved, little else that parents do will have its maximum influence. Expressions of kindness increase family life satisfaction. Husbands’ expression of appreciation for their wives are, by far, the strongest predictor of the wives’ sense of fairness and satisfaction with how housework and child care are divided in the home.
Strong families notice and share positive aspects of each other. For example, they pay attention to another person’s polite behavior or something nice he or she did or said.  They notice the talents, skills and achievements, special qualities, and characteristics that make the other person unique. They find ways to be positive even when another family member makes a mistake. They make a conscious effort to develop closeness and show love at home.
Love can be shown in a multitude of ways. One example is good manners and everyday courtesy to a child or a spouse. This lets the person know that he or she matters. Treat family members as good friends. Ask children and other family members to do things rather than demand that they do them.  Compliment good behavior. Thank family members for their efforts. Ask for opinions. Listen to comments. Avoid saying anything that is unkind or sarcastic.
Again there are many ways to show love in your family . . . in this month of
February, how can you better show love in your family?

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