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21 Little Things Every Parent Can Do To Make Kids Really Feel Loved

21 Little Things Every Parent Can Do To Make Kids Really Feel Loved

It’s easy to say “I love you,” but talk is cheap and kids are clever. They know it’s not enough to hear those three famous words, if they’re not backed up with some kind of reinforcement. It could also be some sort of action, like something that’s going to make your kids laugh or smile, or something that will ultimately result in them feeling loved. These are the gestures that will always be remembered.

Many of these gestures can be made on an ad hoc basis, simply by paying attention to your child’s world. By viewing the world from their perspective, you have a better chance of reaching them and impressing on them.

Here are 21 little things every parent can do to make their kids feel loved. I hope you enjoy trying these out at home.

Draw on Their Banana

My kids love when I do this. If they bring a banana to school, draw a face on the skin of the banana with the words “EAT ME” in a speech bubble. You can even put glasses on the banana or a mustache to mix it up a little. Kids really love this. They love to show their teacher and friends too.  Also, it’s a good way to get them to eat their banana.

Make a Gift

Kids love creating things out of cardboard and glitter, but they will feel appreciated and loved if you also rolled up your sleeves and made something special for them, like a mobile for their room, a rocket ship, or a princesses’ house. It only takes a little imagination, some paint, and some cardboard. Think about the things that your kids are really passionate about and make something in that theme. Not only will they feel loved because you went to such an effort for them, they will also feel inspired to make something themselves.

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Make Talk Time a Priority

Leave aside fifteen minutes a day to just sit and talk to your child about what’s going on in their life right now. Gently probe for information on the times you are not with them (e.g school and the nursery). In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we forget about the importance of re-grouping with our kids. They will feel loved because you are interested enough to ask and follow through on different issues. It doesn’t have to be a very serious conversation, it can even be fun. It’s really just an opportunity to stay in tune  with your child’s life.

Make a Collage

Kids love photos – especially if they are in them. Make a beautiful collage for their bedroom with pictures of your child since birth. This will give them a very good sense of themselves, of who they are, and how they are growing up so much. Increasing self-esteem in a child will result in a feeling of  self-love. This is a very important  part of development. You will be helping to bring this about with this small gesture.

Read a Chapter of a Book

Make a commitment to read a chapter of a book with your kids every night. They will love it even more if you put in the effort of reading with expression and enthusiasm. They will really enjoy this close time with you and they will go off to sleep feeling safe and loved.

Put on a Costume

Kids love it when their parents are silly. Get up fifteen minutes before your kids wake in the morning and put on a silly costume. This might be easier to do when you don’t have to rush off to work. Dress up as anything (a pirate, a witch, a princess), the sillier the better. Then, go on in there and wake them up. Watch their faces. They love it! If you act out the part a bit they will really appreciate it. Fancy them being able to tell their teachers and friends on Monday morning that Daddy was a pirate on the weekend.

Have a Game of Making Up Stories

Your kids really value the time that you give to them. Making up stories is a perfect example of how you can tell them you love them. Take it in turns. Make sure you listen well to their story and laugh at all the right times. Make comments and encourage them to keep going. When it’s your turn, make the stories about them and use your imagination as much as you can. Include things you know they like (their pets, favorite food, favorite colors, or toys). This is good for everyone’s imagination. Most importantly, it brings us closer to our kids.

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Cook Them their Favorite Meal

One day after school, cook them their favorite meal or take them out to a restaurant. Include a treat for afterwards and forget about all the rules. Rules are for breaking. Plus, your child will never forget the day you let them break the rules for “just for one day”. These memories last and help us feel really special. You could also let your kids stay up late as a treat every now and then. You can watch a family movie together. These are the memories we hang onto.

Send Them Joke Texts

Kids love jokes, so why not send your kids a joke during the day on their phone. You will find some good jokes online that will be suitable for their age group. This is a fun way to get closer to your kids and it only takes a minute. Your kids will be delighted by your sense of humor and the fact that your text wasn’t a warning to do their homework or practice violin.

Put a Surprise Under their Pillow

We all love surprises, especially kids. This doesn’t have to be expensive, just get a small gift, like maybe a new book or a card game. You can put it under their pillow if they’ve been co-operative during the week. Sometimes small gifts are more powerful than big ones because the element of surprise reminds them that they are loved.

Label Their Belongings

Believe it or not, something as small and simple as putting a child’s name on their belongings can go a long way towards helping them feel loved. In order to feel loved, a child must first have a sense of belonging. What better way to help them feel like they belong than to label things they own like their school bag, retainer, bottles, bedroom door, coat hooks, breakfast dishes, and  art corner. Older children might not like having so many labels, but for younger children this works like a treat.

Go on Field Trips with Them

If you can, try to attend field trips, football matches, and recitals. It’s hard to be everywhere all at once and sometimes it’s just not possible; however, your attendance at these events means a lot to your kids.

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Make a “Life Story” Book

Buy a large blank scrap book. Start at the front page by pasting in pictures of your kids as young babies. Write some details about your kids weight at birth (etc.) underneath. You can paste in all kinds of pictures. Pick anything that your kid would enjoy. Include family members, pets, grandparents, and neighbors. This helps the child understand that they are part of a loving group of people. Write silly things where appropriate. Make it fun! Your kids can play an active role in what is to be included in the book once you’ve got things established. This is wonderful for your child’s self-esteem.

Give Them their Own Jobs

Kids need a sense of purpose in order to feel loved. Why not help them with that by giving them jobs to do around the house. Select something that is age appropriate and not to difficult for them, of course.

Try Some Decoupage

This is a very old craft that is now back in fashion and used to brighten up old furniture quite a bit. I painted a mirror frame white and cut out some pictures of butterflies. I carefully pasted each butterfly onto the corner of the mirror and popped on a little photo cut-out of my daughter’s face. I then varnished over it a few times before I showed it to her. It took her ages to find herself in the picture, but when she did she was absolutely delighted. YouTube has some great videos on decoupage for inspiration. As added incentive, it only costs a few dollars for varnish and glue.

Make a Power Point Presentation

You may be making presentations every day at work, but did you ever think of making one to your kids? If the presentation is about them, they’ll love it. Include relevant images and use the opportunity to say what you want them to hear. Maybe you want to praise them for a job well done. Maybe you want to talk about plans for the future or the holidays. Maybe you could make some sort of a deal with them, like if they do as you say, they will get something in return.

Don’t forget to keep the mood light or you could lose their interest. This is not the office, after all. You could also include pictures of them when they are asleep or in some silly pose. Your kids will love this and it will definitely bring you closer.

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Spell it Out for Them

Get some alphabet cookie cutters and some cookie dough and spell out “I Love You”. They will love these cookies made especially for them and tasting so yummy too. If you don’t have time to cook just use play-dough instead and leave it somewhere they can find them.

Just Get Stuck In

Whatever your kids are up to, and if you find that you have some free time, go get stuck in and enjoy that opportunity. Whether it’s a water fight, a game of basketball, or a game of shopping, get involved. Playing  with your kids is a fantastic way to show them that you love them.

Leave Notes Around for Them

You can leave notes in their lunchbox, gym bag, instrument case, their bed, or under their pillow. You can make the message appropriate to the situation at the time. If your son is having a hard time with Math, you could send him a note telling him, “Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out. Stay positive.” You get the idea. Not only will kids feel special when they find a note all for them, but they’ll also really remember the message contained on the note. This is great for kids with attention problems.

Dance with Your Kids

Kids in my house love to dance. We all get up and take turns doing really silly dances while the rest of laugh ourselves into a knot. Music is a great medium for bonding. It really does bring people closer together. Bringing music and dance into your home will provide your kids with many happy memories, as well as reasons to feel loved and cherished. So turn the volume up and get down every now and then.

Bring them Along With You as You Do Your Chores

Whether it’s ironing or changing the bed-linen, you will be doing you kids a favor by having them accompany you as you work. You get to spend time together and your kids learn valuable skills they will need down the line. They may prefer to play with their toys or gadgets, but after a while they will grow accustomed to this routine and they will learn to value it. After all, they will also benefit from quality time with their parent. All kids crave this. When these kids grow up and they are able to fend for themselves, they will remember the time they spent putting out the garbage with their Dad or making dinner with Mom, and then they will feel really loved.

Conclusion

As you can see, these activities don’t cost anything besides a little bit of imagination and some effort. It’s a small price to pay in making your kids lives that much more special.

I hope these little tips help open up a new world of fun, laughter, and love to you and your family.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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