A thousand ways to show affection!

A thousand ways to show affection!
There are a multitude of ways to show love to a child. Ten parents tell us what they do to display their affection to their young children.

There are a multitude of ways to show love to a child. Ten parents tell us what they do to display their affection to their young children.

“My favourite time of the day is in the mornings, when Ariel comes to us in our bed. On the weekends, the whole family cuddles up like that for a while! Sometimes Ariel will bring a book or a doll to play with. My partner and I also have a little tradition at night before bedtime. We stick our finger against hers, as though we were connected, and tell her: ‘Good night; I love you!’”

Marie-Soleil Pelletier, mom to 4-month-old Rosalie and 2-year-old Ariel

 “In the mornings, to encourage Chloé to eat her breakfast and to make her laugh, I make her a happy face with her fruit. Before dressing her for daycare, she comes to sit on my lap for a cuddle and we watch some TV. She’s a little sleepy and happy to be with me. It’s our special moment!”

Frédéric Hamelin, dad to 2-year-old Chloé
Being affectionate is also spending time with your child, listening to him, showing interest in him, and telling him you’re proud of him.

“I often have Ophélie in my arms and I breastfeed her, just like I did with my boys. For me, it’s a show of affection. With my boys, we have our special moment in the evenings. I give them each a little back rub to help them relax before bed.”

Nathalie Bergeron, mom to 5-month-old Ophélie, 5-year-old Alek, and 7-year-old Lukas

 “When I go to pick up my eldest at daycare, despite the noise and bustle around us, I always take a moment to stop and to look her in the eyes and give her a big hug. It’s worth millions! With my youngest, my affection is mostly shown through breastfeeding. When she falls asleep at night after nursing, it’s pure bliss!”

Julie Racine, mom to 1-year-old Emma and 2 ½-year-old Ellie

“I feel like I’m giving my children affection when I spend time with them. I renovated a little table to set up my son’s train set. We often play there together and my son loves it. With my daughter, we mostly play arts and crafts. Every night before bedtime, I tell them why I love them.”

Isabelle Désormeaux, mom to 2-year-old Nicolas and 5-year-old Rose

 “My little man comes to join me in my bed in the mornings. It’s our special moment for some TLC when we cuddle and I shower him in kisses. He also has a bunch of things to tell me. I don’t know if he’s talking about his dreams or what, but I listen to him. There are always trucks and cars in his stories. He also talks to me about his friends, his cousin, and his grandmother.”

Annie Bélanger, mom to 2-year-old Émile

“I love playing with my son. In the evenings after his bath, we go on our bed for some wrestling time! I make Jayden fall upside-down. Then, when he tries to get up, I push him over and make it impossible for him; I roll him on the bed, grab him by his feet and turn him on his head, and he laughs like crazy!”

Maxime Pearson, dad to 2 ½-year-old Jayden

 “On Saturdays, we do activities together at a gym. There are just dads there playing with their kids. I started going with my daughters when they were 1 and 4 years old. It definitely strengthened the bond between us. We continue to go all together with Émilien. It’s a special time when we simply play, have fun and enjoy being together. It’s a way for me to show them I love them.”

Jean-Philippe Pleau, dad to 15-month-old Émilien,7-year-old Arielle, and 9-year-old Juliette

“I put my nose in my little Anna’s back and pretend to be a dog sniffing her. Sometimes she laughs so much that she can hardly catch her breath! I also have special moments of togetherness with Jeanne, who’s 3 ½ years old. I take her with me to run errands. We put music on in the car and sing. I’m also ‘daddy-fix-it-all’ for her. When a toy is broken or a drawing gets ripped, I fix it while she sleeps and put it where she can see it when she wakes up.”

Johann Mäder, dad to 1-year-old Anna and 3 ½-year-old Jeanne

“Every night after supper, I play with Mathis. Then, I give him his bath, look at a book with him, and rock him before bed. On the weekends, I also like to use a baby carrier to go out with him. I love having him cuddled against me. It’s also a great way to relax him and get him to fall asleep.”

Francis Provencher, dad to 1-year-old Mathis

  • When you show your child affection, you make him feel loved and help him to bond with you.
  • Shows of affection promote your toddler’s brain development.
  • When a child grows up in an affectionate environment, it’s easier for him to learn and to get along well with others.


Naître et grandir

Source : Naître et grandir Magazine, April 2017
Research and copywriting : Julie Leduc
Scientific review : Sylvain Coutu, professor with the psychoeducation and psychology department at Université du Québec en Outaouais


Photos: Maxim Morin and Nicolas St-Germain