Eight things you can do that mean the world to your child
1. HUGS AND KISSES: Affection and love is so important for a child's emotional and spiritual development helping them feel loved unconditionally. Children thrive in a loving environment where they feel nurtured.
2. PRAISE THEM. Words of affirmation go such a long way in building a child's self esteem and confidence to try new things and learn. Kids are so happy to receive genuine affirmation of how much love you have for them, what a great job they have done, how proud you are of them and their hard work. This could also be seen in cheering them on in sports, or even drawing a picture (when they can’t read) with hearts and encouraging words like "You can do it!". When I was a kid, every day when Dad dropped us off to school he would say, "Be good, have fun, learn as much as you can, because you are getting better and better every day.” I now find myself saying that to my kids before they go to kindy and school every day. It becomes a bit of fun too as they start repeating it back to you and getting sick of it – but I keep saying it anyway – just like Dad did, because in the end – it meant a lot!
3. LISTEN TO THEM: Kids really want to be listened to. One of the most significant gifts we can give our children is our ears. When they are upset about something being listened to can really help them calm down, making them feel heard and understood. Repeat what they said and offer your love and guidance. By listening to them, you will get to know their personalities, their needs and build into their lives by encouraging the things that interest them most. You’ll know what they’re most passionate about because that will be what they talk about most.
4. GIVE THEM A GIFT, JUST BECAUSE: We don't mean the latest toy given as a reward, but a simple gesture that is a symbol of love. You could put a note in a lunch box, draw a special picture, cook a special meal, or make a piece of art for their wall.
5. SERVE THEM: Acts of service is a love language. As mums and dads we already do a lot of serving our kids. But this is about serving the needs they have to be looked after when they're sick, or sad, or have hurt themselves. It's instinctive in us as parents, but by understanding that if this is your child's love language you'll be more conscious of meeting his or her emotional needs in this way.
6. GIVE YOUR CHILD YOUR TIME: What really makes your child feel loved is your undivided attention. It helps with their emotional and physical development, it’s free, it’s special and it’s a great way of working out how your little one ‘ticks’. Read a book together, cook something together, ask open ended questions about your child’s day, go out for a walk or to a café to have a fluffy and share a bowl of chips and a chat.
7. GIVE YOUR CHILD YOUR TIME: A lot of misbehaviour from children is an attempt to get more time with mummy and daddy. It can get to the point where negative attention is better than no attention, so watch out for the signs that it’s time for some one-on-one and book it in…you’ll never regret it.
8. GIVE YOUR CHILD YOUR TIME: There is a reason we’ve said this three times, and we're confident you already know why! Time spent with your child is just so important in laying the foundations of your relationship with them for life. Quality time with you will also equip them emotionally for whatever life has to throw at them. This is our opportunity now to really connect with our children from a young age and instill in them the values we want them to grow up with.