I love my kids. And I'm 100% sure that they know that I love them.

After all, I wash their clothes, cook their meals, spend my vacations entertaining them and use all my free time worrying about them. How could they not know that I love them? Just by being part of my household, my kids should inherently know that I love them.

Except for the fact that there is a tendency to take routine for granted.

They don't necessarily perceive the suppers I cook for them as a sign of love, because mothers are supposed to cook meals. They know that their father works hard to earn a living, but they're not mature enough to realize that he's working in order to be able to feed them and because he's loves them. After all, don't all fathers work?

We want our children to know that we love them. Children who feel loved are confident and secure, regardless of their accomplishments. Their parents' love gives them a firm foundation that allows them to experiment and try new things. This love gives them the confidence to try to succeed, even when they know that they might fail.

There are many ways to make sure that your kids feel loved. You show your love by consciously listening to your child while they talk to you; by noticing their accomplishments and praising them; by sharing your experiences with them; by including them in your activities and by taking them on trips.

But the easiest and most surefire way to let your kids know that you love them is very simple: Tell them!

When kids are young, it's easier to kiss and hug and snuggle with them, but as they get older – especially when they hit teenagerhood - they probably won't appreciate being "mushy." But no matter how old they get, they still need to hear you say that you love them.

Even if they roll their eyes when you say the magic words, deep inside they yearn to hear them: I love you. Despite their defiant teen-aged looks and insolent wisecracks, they need to know that their mother and father really, truly love them.

Make the phrase part of your routine repertoire. Don't let your son or daughter leave the house without telling it to them: "Have a great time! I love you!"

We reward our kids for their achievements, when they get a good mark on a test or keep their room clean for a week. Once in a while, give them a prize "just because." But spell it out for them. "Do you know why I'm giving you this chocolate bar? Because I love you!"

Take them on trip to the zoo: "Do you know why I'm taking you on a trip? Because I love you and love spending time with you!"

Make these words part of your bedtime routine. After showers, teeth-brushing and story time, when they're all tucked into bed, turn out the lights and say "Good night! I love you!"

Saying I love you to our children makes them feel loved. In addition, it reminds us that we love them. Just like our kids may not perceive that our hectic routine is an expression of love for them, we may also be too busy and pressured to remember why we do all that we do.

All the hours that we spend cooking, cleaning, worrying and educating? It's not just stress and pressure, obligation and commitment. We love our children and are happy to do this all for them.

Practice saying I love you to your kids when things are smooth, when they're doing what they're supposed to be doing and staying out of trouble, so that you will be able to tell it to them even when you're called for a meeting in the principal's office. If your kids hear the phrase enough times when things are smooth, they'll believe you when you say the phrase when they're in trouble.

Go ahead! Today, don't wait. Tell your kids you love them! Buy them something. Why? Just because you love them!