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Why I always tell my children I love them when I'm mad

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My three-year-old was having a morning. She didn’t know how to express every emotion she felt, and it came out in tantrum after tantrum. There were many emotions, and honestly, it was hard to take, especially when some of those emotions were downright bratty.

So, I told her I didn't like her behavior, and I was mad. She's sensitive, so she started crying again.

Tears escaped her eyes as I reassured her, “Mommy can be mad at you, but she always loves you.”

A great sob escaped her as she heard those words.

I then took my daughter's hands within my own and kissed the top of her head.

Every time I'm mad at my kids, I always make sure to end our argument with these words:

Mommy can be mad at you, but she always loves you.

Because our children must know that our love for them bears through the good and the bad.

Because children who are loved know they will be forgiven even after they make the inevitable mistakes that we all make.

Because after we get mad, showing them we love them with a hug isn’t enough. They need to hear it to really know it.

Then they’ll know our concern about their behavior only comes from a place of love. Because we exist to protect our children from harm and guide them to be the best people they can be.

This is why I’ll always end every disagreement I have with my children with:

Mommy can be mad at you, but she always loves you.

This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook. Her book "Living FULL: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorder" is available on Amazon:

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