Exclusive! 'RHNY' Jill Zarin & Mom Of Allyson, 17, Blogs on: 'The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child'

Wed, October 6, 2010 2:13pm EDT by 3 Comments

Hi HollyBaby readers: It’s Bonnie here, and I’m delighted to bring Real Housewives of New York‘s Jill Zarin, author of the terrific advice book,  Secrets of a Jewish Mother, to you. Here, Jill’s must-read child-raising advice!

Here’s what I know! The most important thing parents can do is communicate love to their child. Love makes up for a lot of personal flaws. It makes up for a parent who is busy, distracted, worried and forgetful. It compensates for a parent who is messy, is a lousy cook and comes late to parent-teacher night. Luckily, kids are resilient. They will forgive you again and again for your mistakes. The absence of love is the one thing that will cripple children, so make sure your children know you love them, every day and in as many ways as you can.

For example, my ex-husband Steven had a ritual of texting our daughter Ally every day to say hello and tell her he loved her. Then, he quit doing it, because he didn’t think she was reading them since she never responded. Well, it turned out that she had been reading his texts all along and she complained to me that he had stopped. I told him that he had to begin again. A  girl has to hear from her daddy every day.

Another example: my daughter called me up and asked me to come up to her college, outside of NYC and have dinner before I left on vacacation for two weeks with my husband Bobby. So I’m getting on a train tonight and taking her to dinner. She was missing her mommy and I was delighted to go and see her.

You can’t spoil a child with too much love. You can spoil them with too many material goods, but not love. And I believe you need to say “I love you”,  as well as show it. It’s not enough to go, Oh, I “show” my love … I pay my kids bills and drive them places. You need to say: “I love you”

You also need to be physically loving. Little children need constant affection. Children learn behavior very young. If you want them to be warm and physical when they grow up, you have to give them lots of hugs and kisses everyday!

Physical affection is very important! Humans need nurturing!

Remember: Make sure your children know you love them, everyday and in as many ways as you can.

— Jill Zarin

Click to buy Jill Zarin’s book Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love