7 Little Ways to Show Your Love (Without Buying Anything)
Think back for a moment and remember the things your parents did that made you feel cherished and important as a child… Perhaps it was the way they tucked you in before bed and whispered how much they loved you? Maybe it was the way that they always came to your baseball games or ballet recitals with a video camera in tow? As a child, it was the countless little things that added up to my overall sense of self-esteem.
Here are 7 simple ways you can show your little one just how much you care:
Hit the Off Switch
Make the time that you spend with your kids exclusively theirs – turn off your phone, laptop, or TV. Shutting off your gadgets not only tells your children that they are more important than a text message or email, but it also teaches them that there is nothing more important than being 100% there for people that they care about.
Mealtimes are some of those rare times when everyone is together in the same spot—so enforce a strict “no electronics policy” and teach your kids the importance of enjoying each other’s company. My family has a basket on the kitchen counter where everyone (including yours truly) places their phone during meals, so we can spend mealtimes catching up on each other’s daily lives, goals, and more.
Hug a Lot
There are a lot studies that show a connection between healthy self-worth in our kids, and the love and affection that we shower them. Whenever possible, reach out and hug your children – they’ll feel lovable and valued, plus touching and hugging releases a little feel-good chemical in the brain called oxytocin that makes everyone happy.
Make Bedtime a Special Time
As a child, I remember how special I felt when my parents came in the room to tuck me in or read me my favorite bedtime story. When I became a parent, I was very mindful about creating special bonding moments with my own children by reading to them, rubbing their backs, or just snuggling (still do this!). When our little ones go to sleep feeling loved and protected, they have a better chance of sleeping peacefully and developing a healthy brain.
Walk the Walk
The most powerful way that we can show our children that we care about them is by teaching them how to care. We do this by being a good role model and leading our little ones by example. They are watching everything that we do, so let them learn to copy how kind, considerate and respectful we are to others. Remember what Thumper’s mom from the movie Bambi said to him: “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”
Flash those Pearly Whites
The act of smiling is a very primal behavior. Some research suggests that it might be an innate instinct, and not just a learned behavior. When we’re at the receiving end of a smile, we instantly feel at ease and accepted as human beings. It also releases dopamine in the brain that makes us feel good. There is no greater way to brighten up our child’s world than to smile every time they walk into the room, so remember to flash those pearly whites!
Be There for Them
We won’t always be able to fix things for our kids—at times they are going to feel the sting of defeat, loss, and hurt in life. What we can do is let them know that we are always there for them. I cannot tell you how many of my children’s friends have come to me over the years with a problem, because they didn’t feel like their parents would understand. We might not always know the right words to say to our kids, but here’s something fail-proof: “I am always here for you.”
Listen to Them
Let’s face it, as parents, things can get pretty hectic. So when our children are telling us about their day or simply want to chat about something, we’re all guilty of spacing out and thinking about everything else.
One of the most powerful ways that we can show our children how much we care about them is by connecting and really listening to what they have to say. If we let them know what they say matters to us, they feel loved and valued, and are more likely to come to us when they are faced with problems in their lives.
Looking our children directly in the eyes when we talk to them is a sign of respect, and lets them know that we are present and interested in what they have to say. Don’t just hear your kids— listen to them.
The word care might be both a noun and a verb, but when it comes to our kids, it should always be the latter.
What are some little ways you show your kids how much you care for them? Share with us!Tags : conscious parenting mindful parenting self worth self esteem confidence emotional health