When my mother died I heard my brother say at her funeral that he appreciated her and all that she did, and I remember feeling surprised by that information. I hadn’t noticed him appreciating her along the way and so to hear him say it gave me pause. I asked myself how it is that he had these feelings about her yet I hadn’t seen evidence of it in the way he treated her. Same with my father. He had a funny way of showing his appreciation of his wife. This being Mother’s Day I got to thinking about all this again and considering for myself and my own family how we show our appreciation.

The answer is this: daily respect and consistent love expressed out loud and in our behavior.

If your children do not show you this on Mother’s Day, or any day for that matter, teach them to do it by doing it with them. Show your children respect daily by listening to them, believing them, and guiding them. Show them your love by speaking it out loud daily and by behaving in loving ways. If it isn’t working then maybe your modeling needs improvement. If you are unhappy with your skills as a parent find professional help to turn yourself into the kind of parent you want to be and then model for your kids the kind of person you want them to become.

This is the best way to have kids who show you their love on Mother’s Day and all the other days of the year.