It seems like these days everyone is always rushing around, working late, and struggling to cross things off a to-do list. Not surprisingly, this go-go-go mindset makes it’s hard for parents to meaningfully connect with their children. One way parents can nurture this relationship with their children is to express love in tangible ways. If you’re looking to foster connection and demonstrate love, consider implementing these 10 things into your day. [And so from our friends at Babysitting.net:]
- Give her random hugs. Showing affection to your child is one way to connect with her on a physical level. Kids need a soft place to fall, and knowing that that place is with you will go a long way to make your relationship a close one. Dole out hugs often. Doing so can lead to a healthier and more emotionally well balanced child according to Dacher Keltner, a professor of Psychology at Berkley.
- Put notes in her lunch. When she is young, having a smiley face or some other sticker in her lunch is a fun surprise to find. Once she gets older and is able to read, you can send along notes of encouragement for an upcoming test or audition. Notes are an easy way to let her know that you are thinking about her.
- Surprise her with a small gift. There’s something about being surprised with a small gift that makes the occasion special. Gifts on holidays or birthdays might be expected, but a gift just because it’s Tuesday is a fun way to say, “I love you.”
- Bring her a balloon, just because. Balloons are so bright and fun that they always bring a smile to a child’s face. Little things that you can do to brighten her day will show her that you love her.
- Leave her notes on the mirror. The mirror is a good place to leave notes for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that everyone starts their day in the bathroom and will likely see the note which will create a good start to their day. Secondly, as kids get older they stand and look at themselves in the mirror and are often critical. Leaving notes that tell her how beautiful her eyes are or what shiny long hair she has will remind her of her assets instead of letting her focus on her flaws. Being told nice things first thing in the morning will definitely let them know they are loved. This is a good idea for working parents that may not see their child before they are off to school.
- Fix her favorite meal. Putting forth the extra effort to make her favorite meal will let her know that you care about her and that she is loved. Celebrate the little things like a lost tooth or winning student of the month.
- Bake her favorite cookies for an after school snack. Most kids will grab a snack right after school. Many times it will be something like fruit or some chips, nothing special. On a day when it’s rainy or when you know she’s been down, it’s a loving gesture to make her favorite cookies for a snack. Comfort food isn’t called “comfort food” for nothing.
- Take her for a special date night. Create a date night just for the two of you. Take her to the salon for a pedicure or to see a ballgame. Spending one-on-one time with her will give her time to share with you and for you to let her know how much you care about her.
- Tuck her into bed and sing her a lullaby. Yelling good night as she heads off to bed by herself isn’t as loving as walking with her to her room and taking the time to tuck her in and sing her a lullaby. Older kids may think that they want to be grown up, but especially in those tween years when they are caught between wanting to be a teen and wanting to still be your baby, tucking them in will be appreciated.
- Cuddle up with her to watch TV. Put in a movie, pop some popcorn and cuddle up on the couch to watch some TV. Doing so can serve as a time to relax and reconnect with each other. Special times like this will strengthen your bond and remind her how much she is loved.