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15 Small Things Parents Should Do To Their Children Every Day To Make Them Feel Loved

15 Small Things Parents Should Do To Their Children Every Day To Make Them Feel Loved

Can you remember what made you feel loved as a kid? Think about it. Maybe you remember having a great time with your parents, holidays, being helped with homework or just telling them a few secrets. As a parent now, are you making the effort to make your kids feel loved? Very often, it is the small things that count. Here are 15 ways to make your kids feel loved. When you become grandparents, you will be touched that they still remember them.

1. Turn off your smartphone.

When you get home or your kids get back from school, turn off your phone and give them your full attention at least for the first half hour or so. The kids love this because they know you are not going to be distracted by texts as they tell you what happened at school. The Swedish government did a poll and discovered that 33% of kids complained that their parents were always on their smartphones.

2. Turn off the TV and all gadgets at mealtimes.

Not much fun when kids have to compete with TV commercials or everybody texting away. Mealtimes are rare moments to enjoy each other’s company. There are enormous advantages for kids. They eat more healthily as it is not rushed. They also enjoy the companionship of their parents and they are much less likely to have an eating disorder later on.

3. Make bedtime a precious moment.

With younger kids, they will always treasure those moments when you read them a story as they drift happily into sleep. It is enormously reassuring and it is a unique bonding experience for parents and kids. The extra bonus is that this also helps your child’s brain development.

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4. Show physical affection.

Countless studies show that kids thrive on warmth and affection. The child feels loved and will have a greater self-esteem. There is no need to go overboard but a kiss or a hug once a day will do you both a lot of good. It lessens the chances of your kids becoming aggressive, anti-social and having other behavioral problems. While adolescents might be embarrassed at the physical affection, there should always be words of support and empathy to take its place.

5. Spend quality time with each child.

It is wonderful when a parent or both parents can spend quality time on a one-on-one basis with their kids. This is great because they feel special and their brothers and sisters are not around. It can be anything from playing sports, cooking, or helping with chores. There is no better way of showing your kids that you really love and cherish them.

6. Discipline them with love and affection.

There are still parents who believe that beating a kid is probably the most effective and time saving way of dealing with discipline. The kid learns that violence is an effective way of dealing with disagreement and conflict. The key to successful parenting is not to switch on the love when they do well and deny it when they misbehave. There are no conditions but just a steady flow of affection so that kids feel their parents’ love is truly unconditional.

7. Leave funny and affectionate notes and messages.

It can be a text or a little note tucked under their pillow. It can be a joke, an affectionate nickname or anything that shows the kids they are still on your radar.

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8. Look into their eyes.

The best way of communicating with your kids is to look them straight in their eyes as you talk to them. Eye contact is so important in this age when everyone is glued to some computer, device or phone. The child can learn to wait until he or she has your full attention but this is worth waiting for. It is also a great lesson to teach a child that eye contact is a very important social skill as they get older.

9. Smile more often.

What better way of showing your love and warmth for your children than smiling every time they come into the room. This immediately puts them at ease and also confirms that their presence is valued and that they are not a nuisance. There may be times when they will need to be reminded about bad behavior but why not use the other 90% to show that you love them?

10. Be a great role model.

How many times have you told your kids what to do, how to be polite and to always wear their seat belt? Oftentimes, parents forget that they must be the perfect role models because children are great copycats. No better way to show that you love your kids than to walk the talk. Be kind, affectionate and caring to others and teach your kids to be color-blind about race.

11. Involve them in decision making.

What to wear for school the next day or where to visit when you go on holidays can be decided together with your kids. Make sure your kids are fully involved and engaged. It is also great for kids to start learning how to make decisions with their parents’ guidance.

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12. Just play with them.

When kids were interviewed, they often said that they felt there was far too much going on and that they were overscheduled. They really want some downtime with their parents where they can just play, have fun, laugh and be together. It might be a good idea to cut out one or two activities so that you just do not end up being their chauffeur!

13. Take action when your child is unhappy.

There may be problems at school with bullying or with the sports coach. Show that you care and ask to see the people involved and just try to find out what is the cause of the tension and unease. It may well be the child’s fault but when it is not, there is an ideal opportunity to show that you are there for them and you will be their champion. You can do practical things like participating in a bully prevention program at your kids’ school and also teaching your child how to react when bullied.

14. Save the cards and gifts.

When your child gives you a note, funny drawing or little poem, show that you care by treasuring them. Put them in a special drawer or folder. Show the child a photo of where you keep a favorite picture in your office. You can take digital photos of the artwork and store them on a photo sharing site. Show your kid the results at regular intervals. It gives the child a great sense of achievement It also saves loads of precious storage space at home.

15. Never interrupt their stories.

When a child has a story to tell about what happened at school never interrupt them but hear them out. The same goes when they want to share a book with you or show you a picture story. They will feel loved and wanted. If parents ignore them or are far too busy, kids will be the first to suffer and it is likely to last into adolescence and adulthood unless we really make the effort now.

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Love and affection are the foundation of happiness. By showing kids this love every single day, we are giving them the greatest gift of all.

 “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle

How did your parents show their love for you? Let us know in the comments.

Featured photo credit: Stanley Yuu via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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