In this Thursday, May 28, 2020 photo, Kerwin Robinson looks on as his wife, Emma Robinson, lifts their son Tristan, 2, while being photographed at their home in Shoreline, Wash. Credit: Elaine Thompson / AP

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On Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to hug, fist bump or nod and say, “I love you!” Loved kids are happy kids. You also can show love for kids by practicing 10 easy steps.

Listen: Be present, ask questions. This is good for both tots and teens.

Gratitude: Express this, while pointing out the good side, showing love and building positive mindsets.

Health: Assure regular checkups with primary care providers. Healthy kids are happy kids who feel loved.

Routine: Establish and maintain routine to provide stability, helping kids feel safe and loved.

Exercise: Keep the body busy. Get outside.

Sleep: Assure enough of this. Turn off electronics prior to bed routine encourages restful slumber.

Eat all together: We’re all guilty of eating on the run. Sitting down together fosters closeness and connection.

Contribute: Assign chores. Find ways to give to the community. This builds a feeling of involvement and belonging that fosters a sense of love.

Play: Use humor. Celebrate. Doing this lessens stress and shows love.

Read: Encourage quiet time. Reading takes the mind to calm places. Model or do this together.

If help is needed for food, shelter or heat, call the Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-442-6003, or go to

Dr. Deborah Hagler

Current President

Dr. Janice L. Pelletier

Past President

American Academy of Pediatrics

Maine Chapter