Its no news flash that life with kids is crazy and busy, especially when the kids outnumber adults! In fact, sometimes, it can seem like there is very little time without kids.
However, in the hustle and bustle of family life the time spent with our children every day may be more quantity than quality. It is easy for a small person to feel overlooked while we are hurrying to get through the motions of everyday life (even though much of what we do is for them!)
Just like with all relationships, sometimes we need to take time out to make sure each of our children know how much they mean to us. This will not only make your child feel special, it can also help minimise issues like sibling rivalry and attention seeking behaviour.
Here are a few ideas to help make your child feel treasured and loved up:
- Spend one on one time.
Kids love to have your undivided attention and often that is a rarity in a busy household. Make a date with your child, a time when just the two of you do something together. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or even for a whole day. It could be as simple as sharing a milkshake. It just has to be enough time for you to reconnect. Some ideas for dates might be:
- Take a walk or bike ride together
- Go to the library to choose a book to read together
- Cooking together
- Play a board game
- Let them choose!
- Make eye contact.
How often do you take the time to look into your child’s eyes? Often when talking to our kids we are walking, driving or busy multitasking, none of which facilitates eye contact. Taking the time to get down on their level and look your child in the eyes while you talk to them will make them feel like you have really connected.
- Listen to the little stuff.
Their latest Minecraft creation or the fact they beat their friend 4-0 at handball during recess might seem trivial to you but it’s possibly the biggest thing to happen in their world that day. We all want to feel heard and knowing you’re there to listen no matter what will make them feel secure and valued. As the saying goes; “If you don’t listen to the little stuff, they won’t tell you the big stuff.”
- Write them love notes.
We all tell our children we love them a thousand times a day, so much so it probably loses some impact. Often seeing something in writing can be even more special. Leaving a little note just for them on their bedroom door, mirror or in their lunch box can make a child feel very treasured.
- Tell them what makes them special.
Go beyond just saying “I love you”. Tell them what makes them a unique and amazing person. Hearing things like “You have a great sense of humour” or “I love how generous you are” will mean a lot to your child and help build their self-esteem.
- Do an act of service.
This may sound strange as you probably already feel like you should be on your kid’s payroll. However, by doing something for our children that we usually expect them to do themselves, we make them feel even more cared for. It could be brushing their hair, reading to them, tying their laces or helping them with one of their regular chores. Taking time out to do something ‘extra’ can make a child feel really special.
Making your child feel treasured is all about saying: “I see you”.
Doing little things to let your child know they are important and valued will not only do wonders for your child’s self-worth, it will also benefit your relationship with your child and the cohesion of the family unit as a whole.