This last week my mind has drifted to the topic of making kids feel special. I have connected with a handful of readers that lost a sibling. They were moved by my siblings are the forgotten grievers post and graciously shared their stories with me. Once again I tell myself, “I don’t know what I don’t know.”
Over and over I heard them say, “I always wondered if my parents would be that sad if it had been me that died.” This especially struck a cord because that question has come up a few times at our house.
I am extremely mindful of the messages I send. At least I try to be. I don’t ever want my girls to question if they are enough. To wonder where they fall on the list of priorities. I want them to feel special on their own. To know they are loved unconditionally.
My focus is on simple things that are easy to blend into our every day. Things they will remember about their childhood as they grow up. So here is my list.
12 Ways To Make Your Kids Feel Special
- Show Affection – Hugs and kisses for no reason at all are the best! Letting them know how much you love their hugs and kisses makes it even better.
- Daily 1-on-1 Time – This doesn’t have to be much. Just 10 minutes at bedtime is perfect. It should be quiet time with no interruptions.
- Include Them in Decisions – What do we want to have for dinner? What should we do next weekend? Include them as you gather decisions and let them feel like they are part of the process. Their input is valued.
- Appreciate Them – Take notice of the things they do. Even small things. Acknowledge it and thank them. You will find they start doing more of these things.
- Ask For Help – Kids like to feel needed. By asking them for help you are giving them an opportunity to add value. It creates a positive interaction, and at the end you can show your appreciation for what they have done.
- Save & Display Their Artwork – I know it is impossible to keep everything. At least have a dedicated place to hang your favorites. Then keep a box or drawer open just for their stuff.
- Say “I Love You” – This phrase can never be over used.
- Create Traditions – Special things you do at the holiday that they can look forward to. Bedtime routines that include sayings or handshakes. Something that is just special to them.
- Send Them Mail – This could be a note in their lunchbox. A card left on their bed. Or at our house we created a kids mailbox that hangs on the wall where she can receive special mail.
- Be spontaneous – Chase them through the kitchen. Tickle them at bedtime. Have a dance party. Run through the rain. Just something to make them giggle.
- Talk to your kids – Ask questions about their day. Be interested and engaged. Check out my post with 18 conversation starters. Talking to them lets them know you care.
- Take pictures together – It shows that you want to remember a moment with them. Or it creates special moments by taking silly pictures together. Either way, it makes them feel special.
What else do you do to show your kids they are special?