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People will forget what you said to them, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.
Do you ever wonder what people think when they hear your name?
I think most of us would like to think that people have good thoughts.
What do you wish came to mind when people think of you?
Compassionate? Giving? Trustworthy? Adventurous? Loving?
How do you make your kids feel?
There is an Oprah episode where they are talking about parenting. The lady asked “Do your eyes light up when your child walks into the room?”
As parents, we know the look on a toddler’s face when they first see us after having spent some time apart. Whether you were gone for a weekend getaway or just a trip to the grocery store, your toddler is always happy to see you. Their eyes light up, they squeal and a smile covers their entire face. They are HAPPY to see us. We should be returning that kind of pure joy to them.
We all strive to make birthdays and Christmas extra special for our kids but what about the other 363 days of the year? We should be trying to make them feel like a million bucks every single day. It’s a struggle to find the time and energy after a long day of dirty dishes and piles of laundry but it doesn’t have to be that hard.
We’ve rounded up 10 easy ways to make your kids feel special.
Not all compliments are equal, so keep in mind that saying “You’re awesome!” doesn’t quite give the same feeling as “You did great on that test. I’m proud of how hard you worked.”
Really stop and listen to what your kids are saying. You’ll learn so much. Simply nodding and agreeing tells them that what they’re saying isn’t important. By making eye contact and engaging in what they’re telling you, you are showing them mutual respect . Not to mention, they will trust you and tell you more when you’re really listening.
Notice the Details:
When my kids draw a picture, I try to notice every little thing about it. Sure it’s just another tree. But a closer look will find apples (or are they peaches?) a rope swing and a new kind of flower. Ask them about the small things. They’ll love that you’re interested in it and care about even the smallest detail. You can do this with everything from their writing to the story about playing with the neighborhood kids.
Spend One-on-One Time With Them:
My kids need my undivided attention, even if they only get a few minutes everyday. When life gets busy and I am not engaging with them like I should be, I can tell. They get whiny, irritable and clingy. I know then that they NEED me to slow down and spend a few minutes with them.
Unplug and Connect:
Yes, that’s so much easier said than done. I know. But your kids will love the attention they get when your family unplugs and tunes in to each other. We have technology free days on Christmas and my kids say it’s their favorite day. even when we don’t have presents. Kids yearn to be the center of our focus but unfortunately, we often let our cell phones steal the limelight.
You probably don’t need me to remind you to treat others how you want to be treated. I sometimes find myself wondering how I’d feel if someone came and changed the channel while I was in the middle of my favorite TV show. Or how I would like my day to be micromanaged by someone? The truth is, I wouldn’t like it at all. We must remember that we are raising future generations. We must treat them as people and not as property. We need to respect and listen to our children’s opinions and remember that we are training them to be successful and compassionate adults. We can’t do that if we are constantly making their decisions or overpowering them.
My kids love to hear stories about my youth. I tell them about lessons I’ve learned and how I felt at the time. This makes it easier for them to relate to me, knowing I’ve been there before. Be sure to tell them the things you admire about them, how they did a great job dealing with their situations and that you are proud of their efforts, even when they don’t succeed.
Even my 11 year old likes to be close to me. No, I don’t get to hold her on my lap anymore but I do get to lay with her head resting on my shoulder while watching a movie or cuddled up with a good book. Keeping the physical connection to your kids lets them know that you are still there for them, no matter how old they are.
Don’t Let Them Talk Negatively About Themselves:
My kids aren’t allowed to say negative things about themselves. One thing I always tell my kiddos is “The world is full of people ready to put you down. You don’t need to do it yourself.” It’s very true. There will never be a shortage of people who will make fun of you, put you down or laugh at your expense. Evan the most successful and well-like people in the world still have haters. You don’t need to be one, too.
Do Something They Enjoy:
Spend the day at the arcade, watching their favorite movies or getting your nails done together. Special time doing things they enjoy show your kids that you value the things that are important to them. Talk to them about why they enjoy these activities and let them know you care about them, too.
It’s not hard to make your kids feel important but sometimes it does take a little more effort on our part. No matter how you choose to show it, make sure your babies always know just how special they are to you.