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Top Ten Ways to Show Children That You Love Them

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My guess is that every dad loves his children; it is sort of inborn in us when we have a child that the feelings of love begin to well up. But often as dads we have a hard time showing love in ways that our children understand what we feel for them. It usually takes time and focused attention, and we find ourselves pulled in a lot of different directions. These ideas for communicating love to our children can help us focus better on them and on building loving relationships with them now that will bear fruit throughout their lives.

1. Make a promise to love them

Father and son
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Fathers can start showing love by making a commitment to love and sustain their families. One of the most important promises an effective father makes and keeps is to always show love in every circumstance. Learn about the promise to love and how fathers can make this promise and show love to their families.

2. Write a love note

Love note
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Writing love notes to our children is becoming a lost art. But some of my children's favorite memories of their parents are associated with receiving a personal love note from their dad or mom. Learn how to write a love note to your child that will create a lasting memory and will become a special keepsake.

3. Learn your child's love language

Five Love Languages
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Every child has or her own way of receiving love. Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages explains five different ways people understand love from others. Find out which love language your child speaks and how to best communicate love to her in her own language. Then take the time to think of something you can do to speak in your child's personal love language.

4. Set effective limits for your children

Father and Child Eating
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We may not intuitively think that setting appropriate limits for our children as a way of showing love. But boundaries and limits give children structure, which help them feel secure and loved. Setting boundaries and limits around a child's behavior is an important skill for fathers. Learn more about the keys to effectively setting limits for your children.

5. Make deposits in their Emotional Bank Account

Family Night
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Dr. Stephen Covey writes about the Emotional Bank Account as a metaphor for improving relationships and building trust. This paradigm has been so important to so many fathers as we think about improving relationships in a family. Learn more about the Emotional Bank Account and how to make this important tool work in your relationship with your children.

6. Offer praise to your child

Father and Teenage Son
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Parenting experts tell us that it is important to praise your children regularly, and that praise effects behavior patterns more than discipline does. And it can be a lot more fun to find things to praise a child for than it is to find things we want to correct in their behavior! Here are some tips and ideas about effectively praising your child.

7. Celebrate a recent success

Teen swimmers with medals
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Many fathers are quick to discipline or impose consequences when children fail, but we need even more to celebrate their successes. Here are some ideas for recognizing that great report card, a sports championship, a special award or other important accomplishment. Celebrations can build great memories and show love and appreciation in ways that are difficult to achieve otherwise.

8. Spend time in the kitchen with them

Getty Images / Digital Vision
Children love to be involved in the kitchen whether it is mom or dad who is doing in the cooking. I'm not sure why that it is; it may be the mess that we make or the joy of creating something from nothing (or next to nothing). Learn how to help your kids enjoy cooking with you, how to help them be safe in the kitchen, and how to make cooking with them a good experience for both parent and child.

9. Make a day for a hike

Getty Images/ Caroline Woodham/ Digital Vision
Hiking with the kids can be a fun and rewarding activity for your and your children. And it can also be a time when you can have a "heart to heart" talk out away from the stresses of daily family life. But it takes a little planning and preparation. Learn what you need to do to make a hiking with the kids one of your favorite father-child activities.

10. Play a game

Dominoes Family Game
As you can see, most of these ideas for communicating love involve spending time with the kids. Positive experiences like board games or creative play can be memorable and can build a strong bond between a dad and a child. This seems particularly true for daughters even more than sons. Check out these games for children, with a focus on preschool daughters. If you are looking for a fun activity for a short attention span, these games for preschool children will make for some fun memories.
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