Affection applies to both spoken and physical expressions of love, tenderness, warmth, and care. Affection may be demonstrated a bit differently for boys and girls, at times, particularly as they mature. Regardless, a dad’s physical and spoken affection is critical to the healthy development of children, particularly their sexuality—their understanding of themselves as young men and women as they reach puberty. A father’s affection helps children know they are loved and lovable, as well as worthy of good, healthy, fulfilling relationships in the future.

Why are affirmation, acceptance, and affection such powerful experiences between a father and his children—or in some cases, between a father figure and a younger man or woman who never received these from his or her own dad? Because affirmation, acceptance, and affection go to the core of character formation and the establishment of healthy self-esteem. These three crucial fathering skills give to a child a gift that will last their lifetime. These three fathering practices define what it means practically for a dad to love his children. Here’s how you can express your love powerfully and meaningfully.

When children miss these experiences from a loving father, they suffer a wounding that can be deep and long lasting. This wound cries out for healing—a healing that can be experienced when a father or father figure is present and the wounded son or daughter seeks to heal and grow.

Close relationships with your kids that you and they will enjoy and will last a lifetime do not happen by chance. They are planted as seeds early on, nurtured throughout their lives, and carefully managed when your kids need a father’s love. I’ve coached and taught hundreds of dads how to do this. I’m here to help you if you want help. The easy-to-master fathering skills I teach work wonders for busy dads, married or not, who want to be great dads. Check out my FREE training videos for more.