“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
What do you want to accomplish as a father or mother? When you look back on your life as a parent, what do you want to feel proud about? For many people, the answers to those questions are that they want to know that they made their kids feel loved. To achieve that, it is not enough to have good intentions; you need to actually get your feelings across.
Establish special rituals
It is the small things that will stand out in their minds when they grow older. They probably won’t recall the amount of cleaning and driving that you’re doing but they are likely to remember the secret handshakes, inside jokes, and tickle sessions. They are sure to retain memories of you kneeling by their bed every night as you talk about school and crushes.
Show physical affection
According to several studies, kids thrive on tenderness and warmth. It helps them have greater self-esteem and lessens the chances of them becoming aggressive. You don’t need to go overboard though as a hug or kiss once a day can already do wonders to your relationship. While this can be pretty easy with infants, it can be embarrassing for adolescents so have words of support as alternatives.
Ask for their opinion
What to buy from the for their younger sibling or where to go for the holidays can be decided together with your children. Not only will this encourage them to make decisions with your guidance, it will also show them that you actually respect their thoughts. Just make sure that you follow through when they’ve made their choice.
Be involved in their interests
Are they participating in any sporting activities? Then show up for their games and cheer them on. Were they selected to represent their school for a competition? Take time out of your busy schedule and spend time in helping them prepare for it. Tell them how much you admire their hard work and bolster their confidence.
Take notice of them
“Look at me” is something that you probably hear from your child often. This means that they want your attention – and you should give it to them. Sure, you can provide them with all of the clothing and toys they want but sometimes all they need is your eyes on them as they play and learn. Something as minor as smiling at their drawing or praising their singing can be a big deal in their minds.
It’s good to love your tot with everything you have, but you should make sure that they actually feel valued. Never assume that they understand your emotions and intentions at all times. Your words and actions should complement each other to ensure that your heart meets with theirs. It won’t be easy, but when you see them grow into amazing adults, you’ll find it was worth everything to be their parent.