The Importance of Loving Your Child – February 2011

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It’s the time of the year when everyone focuses on love for a brief moment. However, as a parent, it’s critical for your children’s well-being and development that you are showing love all of the time, not just on Valentine’s Day.

According to Samantha Stern, training and development director at Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa, “Many studies have been conducted which have proven that the healthiest and happiest children are those who are know they are loved and are regularly shown love. Children need to know that they are loved and that those closest to them believe in them, in order for them to learn to love and believe in themselves.”

Here are some ways to show your children just how much you love them.

Spend Quality Time Together

Regardless of your children’s age, Stern says that you should spend quality quiet time with your children every day to find out about their day.

“Make yourself stop and really listen to what they are saying, and don’t permit distractions. Make eye contact with them, and let them know that they are the only thing that matters to you in this moment.”

Stern suggests that an ideal time to do this is over dinner. That way, you can also share a nutritious meal together. Another great way it to do this is before or after a story when you can snuggle up together. Spend quality time every day reading to your children. or as they get older, have them read to you.

Respect Your Children

Stern says it is critical as a parent to always respect your children’s thoughts and feelings. If they are upset, you should immediately show empathy and try to fully understand what is bothering them. Likewise, if they do something great, make sure to tell them how proud you are and praise them for a job well done. And, if they are acting inappropriately, remain calm, and lovingly discuss their inappropriate behavior.

Tell Your Children That You Love Them

Finally, Stern says children of all ages can never hear too often that their parents loves them. As a parent, we need to remember to tell our children that we love them often. Children also love a genuine hug and kiss on the cheek to let them know they are loved.

“When you think about, we’re all a lot alike, regardless of our age,” says Stern. We all just want to know that we are loved, and that we matter to someone in this world.”

Ebenezer’s Child Care Center’s Southside Milwaukee Center, located at 1496 S. 29th Street, will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night on “Twenty Free Ways to Love Your Child” on Thursday, February 10, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Showing love is about more than hugs and kisses, although they’re important, too. Come learn some other ways to raise kids who are happy, healthy, and secure. Activities will include playing with red playdough and cookie cutters, making watercolor valentine hearts, and creating heart sun catchers! In addition to the activities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on us!

Registration is required. Please call Ebenezer Child Care Center’s main office at 414-643-5070 to register.

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally-based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart.

The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere, individualized, nurturing care, and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development:  cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers a variety of free Family Fun Nights and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.

The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at