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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 September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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