The season of love is upon us with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, but we are popping into your inbox to stress the importance of showing children love every day of the year.

At Cottage Door Press, we believe in the value of together time with our little ones. That’s why we ensure every book we publish enriches that bond between child and grown up, whether by learning together or just saying “I love you!”

We’ve collected four foundational benefits to expressing your unconditional love:


Helps a child’s mental and physical well-being. Studies show that children who are raised by a warm, affectionate parent fair better emotionally and physically than those raised in a more pressured and critical environment. Children who lack parental warmth appear to struggle more with high levels of stress and cortisol, which oftentimes leads to issues with high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Studies have shown that reading can reduce stress levels by 68% and allows for better nights of sleep. Both contribute to leading a healthier lifestyle, so it is beneficial to encourage reading as a healthy habit early in a child’s life.

Children who know they are loved tend to be healthier, mentally and physically.


Increases a child’s brain development and memory. According to a study from Washington University, children whose parents were nurturing and affectionate often have stronger brain development and have a larger hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that controls one’s memory, learning capabilities, and responses to stressful situations.

We love encouraging parents to read with their children on a regular basis. This will not only allow strong bonds to form between parent and child, but it will also support cognitive development, language skills, and academic success.

Assurances of love can have a lasting impact on learning and long-term success.


Makes your child more well-rounded and less fearful. As one might expect, children embody a sense of security when treated with love and respect by their parents. Children who receive unconditional love are more likely to step out of their comfort zone to try new things with less fear of failure. In contrast, children who grow up with merit-based parenting tend to feel unsafe in trying new things, affecting both social and academic aspects of their lives.

When it comes to learning to read out loud, some kids tend to clam up due to an expectation of being perfect, which can affect their confidence later. A few tips are to encourage (but do not force) your child to read; read to a different audience, such as a stuffed animal or younger sibling, who will not judge their mistakes; and do not overcorrect if he or she makes a small mistake, and instead, only help with a word when asked.

Little ones who are confident in your love are more likely to be confident in themselves. 


Creates a stronger bond between a parent and child. There is also a difference in parent/child relationships when parents show more affection, as opposed to those who assert more control. In a study from University of Missouri-Columbia, children showed positive emotions when their mothers showed affection and did not dictate the way the child played and offered tips and hints with positive reinforcement.

Our favorite way for parents to show affection and develop a special bond with their child is to read together. Set up storytime on a regular basis, providing kids something consistent that they can expect and look forward to. Additionally, reading together gives children a sense of intimacy and well-being, allowing them to feel closer to their parent.

Grow your bond with the children in your life by reassuring them that you will always be there for them.

We love our children and, more than anything, want to see them succeed in life. Through this season of love and valentines, we encourage you to explore how your child responds to your expressions of affection. Everyone has different ways of showing love, as well as receiving love. Regardless of your methods, showing constant and unchanging love is what children need most to thrive.