By Catherine Griffin

Little gestures often go a long way with children. Here are a few simple suggestions to help promote wonderful childhood memories and put a smile on your child’s face.

  1. Put on a fun song, turn up the volume and start dancing with your child, even if you don’t know how to dance. More than likely your child will join in and not be able to resist.
  1. Have a special ice-cream date in the middle of the night. When your child lays down to go to sleep, surprise them by bringing in a small scoop of ice cream or sorbet for them to enjoy right before they go to sleep and let them eat it in the bed.
  1. Give your child an immunity deal to get them comfortable sharing something they would not typically share with you. While on vacation or while eating at one of their favorite restaurants, let them know they can share something with you that you didn’t know about and they can get complete immunity. They will feel more comfortable sharing and happy/relieved to unload something off their chest and you will also learn about something you would have not known about otherwise which will help with bonding and conversation.
  1. Place a special note for your child to find in their lunch box or in their textbook while at school.
  1. Ask your child to teach you how to do something and compliment them on how well they taught you.
  1. Start a new secret family tradition.
  1. Let your child wear their dress-up clothes or Halloween costume to the store or on a playdate just because they want and not for a special event or occasion.
  1. Let your child jump or stomp in multiple puddles in the rain even though your first instinct is to say “No.”
  1. Give your child a chance to respond to a challenge at school on their own without intervening.
  1. Have a special date with your child once a week or once a month. (I.e. take them to breakfast, get ice cream, the zoo, go on a visit to grandma’s or to a relative house, etc.)
  1. Hanging their artwork in your office for them to see when they visit you at work or wear a macaroni necklace out of the house.
  2. Have a 10 minute (minimum) daily ritual with your child. Whether it’s eating a bowl of cereal with them in the morning everyday or reading a bedtime story each night, your child will love this special bonding time which will go a long way.