One of the top priorities of those who are trying to be good parents is making sure their kids feel loved. Here are a few ideas on how to make that happen:
1) Look into your child’s eyes: As parents, we are pulled so many directions, I have often wondered if there is enough of me to go around especially as we would add another child to our home. While thinking on this, I felt the inspiration to look into the eyes of each child, then I would know the most pressing needs. We can’t do everything, but we can pause, look, and feel.
I am a very task oriented person. My kids would come in to the kitchen and I would listen to them without looking up from my task. Stopping and looking into their eyes makes all the difference. Eyes are so telling. They truly are a window into a soul. Sad eyes, tired eyes, happy eyes, scared eyes, concerned eyes, delighted eyes, teary eyes, questioning eyes, or eyes that carry a hint of laughter. So much can be seen and felt when looking into another person’s eyes. As kids head off to bed, I find myself doing a self-inventory and I think about whether or not I have seen their eyes. Then I wander into the room of a child whose eyes I didn’t “see” that day and really “see” how they are doing.
2) Limit screen time: I am quickly approaching forty…so I have seen life with and without a lot of handheld devices, big TV’s, intense video games, ….“screens” in general. I love the devices as tools for learning and communication, but be so very careful that they aren’t used constantly as a tool to keep kids quiet and occupied. How can they learn to feel love in that situation? There is a place and time for those tools…ponder when that is for your family. Build time for creative play.
3) Tell your child “no”: Sometimes the very best thing you can do is say “no”. Boundaries help kids feel safe and loved. They don’t need the latest toys or fanciest clothes. They don’t need to do things just to be cool. They need you to help them see this.
4) Let kids be themselves: There is so much talent bottled up in children. Their strengths and talents are bound to be different from yours. Let them be. You need have certain rules, but a lot of your “job” is to help kids learn. It is OK if your first grader wants to do her own hair for school….it is your job to make sure she is bathed, that her clothes are washed, and that she is fed. I assure you teachers can tell the difference between a neglected child and one that is just being a child. If your child doesn’t like sports and they are your favorite thing, adjust. Help them find positive activities in the things they love. Give of your time in support of your child.
Here is a post about a fun way to get a chance to visit one-on-one with each child– Game Date!
5) Tell your kids they are loved: Say and mean the words, “I love you.” It is fun to put a note on their pillow or in their shoe, to text or email them a positive line, or to simply put your arm around them and tell them they are good. Honest praise will bring positive dividends.(The pictures used in this post came from pixabay.com)