Our guest post is by Linda Hunter, Chief Education and Operations Officer of Pretend City Children’s Museum. In this family resource, she offers parenting tips on simple ways to express your love to your children. Pretend City Children’s Museum is a fun interactive educational facility in Irvine, CA.
Sometimes we all need a little reminder to take a break from the daily chaos of life and let our children know just how special and loved they really are. In February we’re celebrating the day of love all month long, but here are some small ways to inject a little love into every day of the year! Of course the ways you show love to your children change with each new stage of development, but these ideas bridge all ages! Here are my top 10 favorite ways to take a moment to show your love:
- This one works like magic – look your child in the eye when he/she speaks to you. Keep eye contact until they are done speaking. I guarantee that they will feel your love and validation. P.S. It works with adults too! It’s the simplest form of engagement between two people.
- Put your cell phone, iPad and electronic games away and focus on your child when you are doing something with him/her. This goes for simple things like riding in the car together, taking a walk, playing or reading.
- Trust your child to lead YOU sometimes. Let them take the lead when walking, playing or conversing. You will learn a great deal about how your child thinks and what they know.
- Dance and sing with your child. No matter what age and no matter how badly you sing, mutually engaging with music is energizing and puts parent and child on an even playing field. This allows each to truly get to know the other in a new way.
- Set reasonable limits for your child and consistently keep them. Although they won’t like it, it is essential in building a child’s sense of security in the world. And somewhere down the line they will realize that the limits are a message of love from you. But you have to be VERY patient!
- Invite your child to teach you something. Curb any instinct to correct or teach them and you will discover many new and important things about your child that you never knew. And most importantly your child will feel loved, trusted and empowered.
- Say you’re sorry when you’re wrong.
- Take time out to do simple things together like:
- Play in the rain and splash in the puddles
- Give each other foot massages
- Read to and with each other
- Let your child brush and style your hair
- Build with blocks
- Ride bicycles
- Color on a huge piece of paper laid out on the floor
- Paint one another’s nails
- Make up silly songs
- Tell jokes
- Establish and keep family traditions, no matter how big or small. Once you do, you’ll see how much love the traditions hold the first time you forget to keep one
- Take lots of photos and/or video and look through these together often, sharing funny stories about the best times! Children especially like the story of when they were born, or when you brought them home for the first time.
How do you show your children you love them? Share your comments below.
But wait…there’s more… our Pretend City and Suburban Mama are sharing our love with you with this 2 for 1 coupon.