You know your child is special. But do they know it? Help your child feel totally loved and valued with these simple, everyday ideas.
Here’s the funny thing about my kids.
They can absolutely drive me crazy while simultaneously filling me with so much love I fear my heart will explode. And if you have kids too, then I’m sure you know as well as I do how hard it is to fully explain that feeling.
But as much as we love our kids, our lives are busy. We have good days, bad days, and days where we coast through life on autopilot. And if we’re not careful, too much time can go by before we remind them just how much they mean to us.
Of course, we know we love our children. But do they? Do they know that our actual love for them stays constant, even when our outward expression of that love isn’t as steady?
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to make a child feel loved and special. What they really need is validation that they’re needed, wanted, and that their standing with you is safe – no matter what.
Here are some simple things you can do.
65 WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD FEEL ABSOLUTELY LOVED
1. Smile when they enter the room.
2. Let them read their books to you.
3. Teach them to do something. Cut paper snowflakes, tie their shoes, make shadow puppets…
4. Give them time to tell about their day during dinner.
5. Leave a note on their pillow for them to find at bedtime.
6. Compliment them when they stick with something hard.
7. Notice and appreciate the times they go above and beyond.
8. Tell them stories from when they were younger.
9. Let them know it’s okay to not know something, and that they can ask you questions whenever they need to.
10. Look through family pictures and videos.
11. Tell them stories from your life.
12. Make their favorite meal.
13. Plan a surprise together.
14. Set the timer for 15 minutes and do whatever they want to do. My husband and I have started doing this with our oldest two every evening. We switch kids each night and have been surprised at how much our kids look forward to it!
15. Watch a movie or show with them (that they get to choose.)
16. Teach them a cool handshake or hand-clap game.
17. Play the cup game together.
18. Pick them up from school.
19. Refer to your family as a team or a unit.
20. Let them choose the music in the car.
21. Laugh at their jokes (even when they don’t make sense).
22. Tell them that they are your favorite x-year-old in the whole world, and change the age to however old they are.
23. Come up with something specific to your family, like a password, dance move, or something unique with your name in it. One thing we do in our family is the “McConaghie Minute.” Each week, one of our kids gets to teach the family something they’ve learned. We try to keep it under 5 minutes and our kids love it.
24. When they feel down or when someone says something unkind to them, let them know how YOU feel. Rather than “No way, everyone loves you. What are you talking about?” Try “Well, I think you’re pretty amazing.”
25. Show your silly side. Let them see your terrible dance moves or funny faces.
26. Look them in the eyes when they talk to you.
27. Empathize with them.
28. Let them hear you say nice things about them to others (especially when they think you don’t know they’re listening).
29. Tell them you love them. Often.
30. Be affectionate. And not all affection has to be serious. Make them giggle by smothering them with hugs or kisses…even if they think they’re too old for that.
31. Learn something new together.
32. Let them help you cook, and trust them to do a lot without help.
33. Give back rubs.
65 WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD FEEL ABSOLUTELY LOVED (CONTINUED)
34. Allow them to make choices.
35. Slip notes into places they’ll find during the day. Lunchboxes, books, in the cereal box…
36. Do Mad Libs together. These never seem to get old with kids.
37. Display their art.
38. Let them get messy.
39. Spend time outside in nature together. Go on hikes, scavenger hunts, walks, camping trips, etc.
40. Hold family meetings and include them in the discussion.
41. Apologize when you make a mistake.
42. Make sure they know your love is unconditional. Say things like, “I love you no matter what.”
43. Show them that you trust them.
44. Put your phone away.
45. Become totally into something together. A song, a movie, a book, etc.
46. Talk about memories as a family.
47. Make birthdays special. In our family, we keep it simple with little traditions like filling the birthday child’s room with balloons, hanging a poster with 10 things we love about them, and making sprinkle pancakes for breakfast.
48. Teach them about their body. Let them know how amazing their body is, teach them how to keep it safe and healthy, and do things together to keep their body strong.
49. Help them thoroughly learn hygiene.
50. Compliment their smile.
51. Have late-nights. Play games, watch a movie or do something they love to do.
52. Set goals together.
53. Allow them to go slow. We spend so much time hurrying our kids from one thing to the next. It’s nice for them to take their time every once and a while.
54. Ask before offering help or advice sometimes.
55. Hang up pictures of them.
56. Show genuine interest in the things they are good at or interested in.
57. Don’t downplay their fears.
58. Teach them about the importance of helping others, and do nice things for others together. Their self-worth will grow the more they contribute to the people in their lives.
59. Show interest in their friends.
60. Build them up. Let them know that you think they are smart, funny, kind, creative, etc.
61. Kiss them goodnight.
62. Help them understand that home is their safe place.
63. Hug them for no reason at all.
64. Love your spouse.
65. Tell them that they can come to you for anything. (And be prepared to listen judgment-free when they do.)
YOU CAN’T SPOIL YOUR CHILD WITH LOVE
When it comes down to it, there’s no such thing as “too much” love. We can’t spoil our kids with affection.
Some parents worry that they’re doing too much. They don’t want their children to grow up entitled or expecting us to do things for them.
But let’s be clear. There’s a big difference between spoiling a child and meeting their needs. And all children have emotional needs. They are still growing and developing and finding their place in this world.
And they need to know that their place with us is secure.
So don’t hold back. Do all the little things (whenever you can muster up the extra energy!). Embarrass your child with how much you love them. They might roll their eyes, but there’s a good chance there’s a smile hiding near the surface.
In the end, the more our kids trust our love, the more likely they are to come to us when life gets difficult. And that trust is the foundation for a strong relationship that will last long after they outgrow your home.
For more help on becoming a more calm and confident parent, be sure to grab The Peaceful Parent Starter Guide. This free guide will walk you through three powerful steps for staying in control and yelling less.
How do you help your child feel loved? Is there anything you’d add to this list? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
OTHER HELPFUL POSTS:
- Can I Really Fit In One-On-One Time With Multiple Kids?
- 10 Simple Ways To Teach Kids To Be Kind
- 6 Times Your Child Needs You Most
- How To Be A More Intentional Parent Every Day
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