By Marcus Coldwell

It is easy for parents to overlook the little things in life. After all, parenting is far from easy, so there are things that appear trivial to you that may mean a lot more to your child. However, it’s possible to do little things that mean a lot to your children – the results are always worth the effort!

Encouraging them when they do something good

All children want to please their parents, so it’s important to provide them with positive feedback when they do something that pleases you. Many parents make the mistake of focusing too much on what they don’t like their child doing rather than what they do like.

While you still need to tell them when they are displeasing you, try to balance this with as much positive encouragement as possible. Make sure you are specific with your praise – tell them exactly what they did that that pleased you so much, as this means a lot more than just blanket praise.

Positive touches go a long way

A positive touch refers to the likes of hugs, cuddles, pats, high-fives etc. It takes very little effort to give your kid a cuddle or pat on the back every day, so make sure you do so as it means a great deal to them.

Older kids that may not want to cuddle shouldn’t be ignored, as any affectionate action (such as a gentle squeeze of their arm) still goes a long way to making them feel good.

Say I love you

Again, very little effort is required to say the three little words, but it means so much to your child, so always make sure to tell them as much! A daily reminder that you love them is never a bad thing, helping to reinforce how much you care about them.

Listen to them

Most parents are guilty of half listening to their kids or telling them not now when in the middle of something, but taking the time to properly listen to them means a great deal to them.

Taking the time to actively listen about their day shows them that you care about them and what’s happening in their lives – not listening properly gives them the idea your interests lie elsewhere.

The dinner table is the perfect place to ask them about their day, and remember never to force anything out of them either. Teenagers are often prickly about sharing too much, but remain patient and always take the opportunity to listen to them when they want to share something.

Show them respect

Not giving your child the full respect you give others is never a good idea. They should always be give the exact same degree of respect you show others, even if they are getting on your nerves or are saying something you dislike – you wouldn’t talk down to a co-worker, so don’t do it to your child!

This doesn’t take much on your part either. Simply talk to them in a polite manner as you would others, while also respecting their opinion (even if you don’t agree with it), and treating them with kindness.

The respect shows them their own worth and that you value them, while also teaching them the importance of respecting other people.

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