Your children need your love, time, and undivided attention. As a parent, you’re likely to be the most significant influence in their lives — it’s up to you to help them to feel secure and build their confidence.
Consider the following ideas to integrate into your regular routines to make your child feel loved and valued:
1. Be attentive. Actively listen when your child wants to talk to you. Show that you’re listening by stopping what you’re doing and maintaining eye contact. Share their enthusiasm about what they’re discussing, even if the subject is about insects, or a movie you’ve both watched a hundred times. If you’re not able to put down what you’re doing, let your child know and be sure to follow up on the conversation later in the day when you can provide undivided attention.
2. Show affection. Give your child hugs and kisses on the cheek on a regular basis. Physical contact will help you bond with your children. According to Child Trends, a non-profit research organization, studies show that higher self-esteem, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavior problems have been linked to warmth and affection between a parent and their child.
3. Provide genuine praise. When it comes to praising your child, quality is more important than quantity. Let your child know that you’re proud of him or her for making an effort, regardless of the outcome. The key is not to praise your child for everything they do, but to recognize when they do something out of the ordinary, or when they are working hard towards achieving a goal.
4. Ask for help. Enlist your child’s help with chores and give him or her a chance to teach you how to do things, too. Ask them to set the dinner table, take out the trash, or walk the dog. Tell your child that you appreciate the part they play in keeping your house running smoothly. Thank him or her for explaining a new slang word or showing you how to use popular apps they may be using, such as Snapchat.
5. Go for a drive. Make your errands more meaningful by inviting your child to join you. While it may take you a little longer to complete your to-do list, the one-on-one time and conversations along the way are well worth it.