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6 Little Things That Make a Big Difference

Put It in Writing

Written expressions of love are tangible and can be saved. Children of all ages delight in reading your words, whether it's an annual birthday letter, a short note of encouragement tucked into a lunch box, or a picture you've drawn.

After my daughter Paige, now a doctor in the military, was transferred to a new Air Force base, she spent a nostalgic weekend unpacking and rereading old cards and letters. Then she called me so she could share some of the messages expressing my love and pride that I'd written over the years. It was an emotional moment for both of us.

Spending the time and energy to write a note or a card—or to take any of the steps I've suggested—is a labor of love. Your reward? A child who's secure in the knowledge that he's well worth the effort.

Marianne Neifert, M.D., a contributing editor, is the author of four books, including Dr. Mom's Prescription for Preschoolers (Zondervan).