As parents, we are caught up in our daily chores ranging from office to household and children. But we ought to take out time and pause. Is our child just a chore for us? Besides taking care of them physically, educating them and fulfilling their wishes, what else can we do to make their childhood memorable?
Here is a list of 10 things you can do for and to your child to make him/her feel loved and cherished:
- Look at them: One day, my son said “please look at me”. My head snapped up and I realised I wasn’t even looking at him whilst he narrated his imaginative space battle. I’m not saying drop everything instantly to make eye contact. Your children can learn to wait for your complete attention but complete attention it must be. Eye contact is, after all, an endangered social skill.
- You got to hide your smartphone away: That brings us to the things that keep us away from making effective conversation. Smartphones have become an extension of ourselves and we can’t seem to stay away from them. You can turn your phone off or keep it in another room. Give your children absolute attention and respect, and it will be imbibed in their behaviour forever.
- Cuddle time: Human beings thrive on physical affection, especially children. It creates a sense of security in a child. Go on, cuddle and tickle them. Adolescents may resist such affection but words of support are a great substitute. Studies show that aggression and anti-social behaviour are visibly less in children who grew up with lots of cuddles.
- Decisions, decisions: You can involve your children in decision making, whether it is about the vacation you are planning, or the clothes to wear to a party. Besides making them feel important, this will help them develop crucial decision-making skills.
- Love and discipline: This one is tough but, of utmost importance. Children who are disciplined with anger and violence learn to deal with conflict and disagreement with aggression. A steady flow of love, irrespective of their behaviour, will produce rational and compassionate adults. Discipline, but with your firm and unconditional love.
- Practise what you preach: You have the most masterful copycats living with you. So next time you have the urge to make a false promise or be impolite to someone (even if they deserve it), remember you are setting an example. If you practise what you preach, your children will follow suit.
- The joy of doing nothing: Do you find yourself driving your children to different activities all day? On being interviewed, some kids said they were too busy. They missed spending time with their parents and siblings, laughing with them and having fun. Younger kids especially undergo immense development with unstructured activities. So give them and yourself, a break.
- Smile please: Between a spilled glass of milk and a frustrating homework, a smile can do wonders. A smile doesn’t necessarily have to be a result of good behaviour or mood. It is a confirmation for children that they are valued. Bad behaviour may at times require a smile upside down but at other times, smile at your priceless creations.
- Be generous with your compliments: It is a great way to raise your children’s self-esteem. Find commendable qualities or actions of your children and praise them in front of others. Let them know you are proud of them.
- Create memories: Plan activities that your children will enjoy and never forget. Plan picnics, go to a museum or click some crazy pictures at the photo booths in malls. Soon they will be going out only with their dates and friends. They may not need you as much one day. But you will have a bunker full of memories to bank on and so will they.