There are so many reasons to show our children that we care for them, and these are things that are not done often enough.
Whether you are parenting together, a single parent, or a divorced couple, every child needs to know that they are loved and celebrated by each parent.
This show of love and encouragement is a building block to your child’s self-esteem and their sense of self.
It is actually so simple to show your kids how much you care for them, that you will read this list and think, “how could I not have thought of that,” or “why am I not doing that?
The hope is that this list inspires you to implement many different ways to show your children that you think they are amazing, and so there is never a question about how you feel about them.
How to Routinely Celebrate Your Children
1. Tell your children you love them as often as possible, and at every opportunity that is possible.
They need and want to hear this, whether they act like it or not.
2. Read together with your children as often as you can.
If you are home each night, make it a ritual. This is quality time that the two of you can share together, not to mention that it instills the love of reading.
3. Sit and eat together each day.
Make it a family mandate, and make it one where there are no electronics. No phones or TV, just conversation with each other. A great conversation is to ask, what the best part of their day was. This gives them a chance to share their day with you, when they would not have otherwise.
4. Play with them.
It can be a board game, coloring, Legos, Barbie’s, whatever they are into. It will mean so much to them that you are not only spending time with them, but you are spending time doing something they love.
5. If you make a mistake and you are wrong, say you are sorry!
Nothing models good behavior, or makes your children respect you more than being able to do this. This may seem strange to be on this life, but not if you think about it. You are celebrating the fact that you child was right, that they forgave you, and are forgiving.
6. Tell your child each day something that you are grateful for about them.
I have couples do this in therapy, but imagine what an important exercise this is with your children. It is another way to build their self-esteem, and they will be proud and surprised by many of the things that you tell them.
7. While this is hard, it is important, NEVER say anything negative to your child.
They are not bad, their behavior is, their grade is, but they are not. If there is something that is bad, work with them to come up with a solution to the problem, this way they feel like you are working with them, and care about what they think and say.
8. Get to know their friends.
Make them know that your house is an open and friendly place to come. Let them know that you like their friends, and what you like about them. They will appreciate that you took the time to get to know, and that you see some of the qualities in them that they do.
9. Cuddle them if they will allow it, or until they are old enough to still let you do this.
It is an affectionate way of showing them how much you love them, and that you are not afraid to show them. It also helps them develop a healthy sense of affection, and a good model for how they will express is when they are older.
10. Once a week make each child’s favorite meal, and let them know this is why you are doing it.
They will appreciate the gesture, that you know what their favorite meal is, and that you make the extra effort to make it for them. Stay on top of their likes and dislikes, as surely their tastes will change often.
These are just a handful of MANY ideas that you can come up with to show your kids how much you love and appreciate them. The most important thing is that you are making these part of your life and routine. This assures that you will continue to do them, and that you help to raise children that know they are loved, and who have a strong self of confidence and feelings about themselves. They will be closer with you, and they will be more likely to go to you with the important issues, as you have proven your love and trust in them.