Show love for your child this Valentine's Day

There are varying theories about the origin of Valentine's Day. According to some experts, it originated from St. Valentine, who died on February 14, 269 A.D. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it 'From Your Valentine'. There are other versions to the story that say Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then jailed Valentine for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine. Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Although the story behind Saint Valentine is unclear, Valentine Day is a day to express your love towards people you care about and to celebrate the spirit of love. Following are 14 ways in which you can express your affection and concern for your child on this Valentine's Day:

  • Use plenty of positive words with your child.
  • Respond promptly and lovingly to your child's physical and emotional needs.
  • Make an extra effort to set a good example at home and in public. Use words like "I am sorry," "please," and "thank you".
  • When your child is angry, argumentative or in a bad mood, give him a hug, cuddle, pat, secret sign or some other gesture of affection.
  • Use non-violent forms of discipline. Parents should begin instituting both rewards and restrictions many years before adolescence to prevent trouble during the teenage years. Once youngsters reach adolescence, allowing them to break important rules constantly without being disciplined only encourages more rule violations.
  • Make plans to spend half a day alone with your young child or teen doing something he enjoys.
  • Spend time together as a family regularly, so that the entire family can be together. Let different family member's choose which game will be played at different occasions.
  • Owning a pet can make children, and especially those with chronic illnesses and disabilities, feel better by stimulating physical activity, enhancing their overall attitude, and offering constant companionship.
  • One of the best ways to familiarize your child with good food choices is to encourage him to cook with you. Let him get involved in the entire process, from planning the menus to shopping for ingredients to the actual food preparation and its serving.
  • As your children grow up, they'll spend most of their time developing and refining a variety of skills and abilities in all areas of life. You should help them as much as possible by encouraging them and providing the equipment and instruction they need.
  • Your child's health depends significantly on the care and guidance you offer during the early years. By taking your child to the doctor regularly for consultations, keeping him safe from accidents, providing a nutritious diet, and encouraging exercise throughout childhood, you help protect and strengthen his body.
  • Regardless of whether you actively try to pass on your values and beliefs to your child, he is bound to absorb some of them just by living with you. He'll notice how disciplined you are in your work, how deeply you hold your beliefs and whether you practice what you preach. So set a good example and be there for your child.
  • One of your most important gifts as a parent is to help your child develop self-esteem. Your child needs your steady support and encouragement to discover his strengths. He needs you to believe in him as he learns to believe in himself. Loving him, spending time with him, listening to him and praising his accomplishments are all part of this process.
  • Don't forget to say, "I love you" to children of all ages!