As a parent now, are you making the effort to ensure your kids feel loved? Very often, it is the small things that count.
Here are ways to make your kids feel loved. When you become grandparents, you will be touched that they still remember them.
1. Turn off your smartphone.
When you get home or your kids get back from school, turn off your phone and give them your full attention at least for the first half hour or so. The kids love this because they know you are not going to be distracted by texts as they tell you what happened at school.
2. Turn off the TV and all gadgets at mealtimes.
It is not much fun when kids have to compete with TV commercials or everybody texting away. Mealtimes are rare moments to enjoy each other’s company. There are enormous advantages for kids. They eat more healthily as it is not rushed. They also enjoy the companionship of their parents and they are much less likely to have an eating disorder later on.
3. Make bedtime a precious moment.
Younger kids will always treasure those moments when you read them a story as they drift happily into sleep. It is enormously reassuring and it is a unique bonding experience for parents and kids. The extra bonus is that this also helps your child’s brain development.
4. Show physical affection.
Countless studies show that kids thrive on warmth and affection. The child feels loved and will have a greater self-esteem. There is no need to go overboard but a kiss or a hug once a day will do you both a lot of good. It lessens the chances of your kids becoming aggressive, anti-social and having other behavioral problems. While adolescents might be embarrassed at the physical affection, there should always be words of support and empathy to take its place.
5. Spend quality time with each child.
It is wonderful when a parent or both parents can spend one-on-one quality time with each of their kids. This is great because they will each feel special, when given that attention away from their brothers or sisters. It can be anything from playing sports, cooking, or helping with chores. There is no better way of showing your kids that you really love and cherish them.
6. Discipline them with love and affection.
The key to successful parenting is not to switch on the love when they do well and deny it when they misbehave. There are no conditions but just a steady flow of affection so that kids feel their parents’ love is truly unconditional.
7. Be a great role model.
How many times have you told your kids what to do, how to be polite and to always wear their seat belt? Oftentimes, parents forget that they must be the perfect role models because children are great copycats. No better way to show that you love your kids than to walk the talk. Be kind, affectionate and caring to others and teach your kids to be color-blind about race.
8. Involve them in decision making.
What to wear for school the next day or where to visit when you go on holidays can be decided together with your kids. Make sure your kids are fully involved and engaged. It is also great for kids to start learning how to make decisions with their parents’ guidance.
9. Never interrupt their stories.
When a child has a story to tell about what happened at school never interrupt them but hear them out. The same goes when they want to share a book with you or show you a picture story. They will feel loved and wanted. If parents ignore them or are far too busy, kids will be the first to suffer and it is likely to last into adolescence and adulthood unless we really make the effort now.
Love and affection are the foundation of happiness. By showing our kids this love every single day, we are giving them the greatest gift of all.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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