LOVE your child. For your child to be successful, he or she must feel valued. Your gentle touches, smiles and hugs communicate love. Giving your undivided attention, especially at the end of each day, demonstrates caring.

LOOK for the good in your child and make specific comments on what he or she does well. You must believe in your child's worth before he or she can believe it. If you want your child to have self-confidence and motivation, watch for positive behaviors and comment on them.

LISTEN, without judgment, to your child express his or her thoughts and feelings. If you do not listen, your child may attempt to gain your attention by misbehaving.

LAUGH with your child, not at him or her. Demonstrate a sense of humor as you cope with life's difficulties. Laugh and play together.

LABOR diligently and with pride so that your child will want to work hard, persevere and do his or her best.

LEARN new information. It is fine to say, I don't know, but then add that you both can find out together. Take the time to read and thus instill a love of learning. On car trips play word games, read or listen to books on tape.

LEAVE the television and other media off. Many programs and video games desensitize your child towards violence and contribute to fearfulness and aggression. Place computers in central locations to monitor internet use.

LIVE life to its fullest. Take pleasure in little things like an ice cream cone, a beautiful day or the enthusiasm of your child. Read, pretend, dance, sing, take walks, play games, have pleasant meals, look at photos, share dreams, and enjoy each other.

Remember: Your child will most likely adopt the attitudes and habits you demonstrate daily.

Author's Bio: 

Leah Davies is the creator of the award-winning Kelly Bear resources for adults to use with children ages 3-9. They include six books, ten DVDs, a game, a CD of songs, a puppet, and Kelly Bear C.A.R.E.S. (Character and Resiliency Education Skills), a multimedia curriculum for large or small groups of children.

Leah has been dedicated to the well-being of children for more than four decades as a certified teacher, school counselor, prevention specialist, parent, and grandparent. Her professional experience includes teaching, counseling, and consulting. She was an instructor in the Family and Child Development Department, Auburn University, and directed educational and prevention services at a mental health agency. Her articles have appeared in The American School Counseling Association Counselor, The School Counselor, Elementary School Guidance and Counseling Journal, Early Childhood News, and National Head Start Association Journal. She has presented workshops at national meetings of the American School Counselor Association; Association for Childhood Education International; National Association for the Education of Young Children; National Child Care Association; National Head Start Association; and National School-Age Child Care Alliance Conference.