Our children are the adults of tomorrow. When we give love to our children, we contribute to a better world.
Kids who get love develop empathy, are healthier and can pass on love.
How do children feel loved? If both parents are busy, it can happen that in the hectic everyday life closeness and time come too short.
Work life, household chores, paperwork – and in no time it’s evening. Do you have to sit in the sandbox with your kids for three hours to be a good mother?? Read a book to your child every day?
A few tips for everyday life that will make your child feel that they are loved:
Time just for the child – at least a little every day
I turn off my cell phone for an hour or two every day. Or at least go on silent. My smartphone distracts me otherwise. "Mom, why don’t you say something about what I told you?!"
That’s what Emily said a few days ago, when she noticed that my mind was somewhere else. That’s why I remind myself daily to give my kids undivided attention. I can’t do that for 24 hours. But I consciously take time for it every day.
Such moments are important – they give nest warmth. Besides I switch likewise a course down. Because the feeling of being constantly reachable through my cell phone also stresses me out.
By devoting time to the children, I am rewarded handsomely on the side. With shining eyes, exciting stories and gratitude. Take your time – because it passes and every moment is precious.
Look your child in the eye
When Emily tells me something and I wipe down the shelf while standing, I only get a part of it.
On the other hand, if I crouch down to her, I feel her feelings better. A kindergarten teacher once told me that it’s generally easier to reach young children if you get down to eye level and hold their hand when you talk to them. That connects us more intensively with our children.
Laugh with your kids
"Mom, why are you looking at me so strangely??" the mini boss said a few days ago. I was annoyed by a mail and unconsciously looked in its direction.
Children sense the atmosphere – more than we realize. I immediately explained to Emily that my look had nothing to do with her. Then we took her stuffed animal "Sari" and made funny noises with it. Emily could hardly get out of her happy giggles.
When fooling around, you also reduce stress yourself. And your kids feel loved and have fun with you. Laughter is good for all of us.
Cuddle and hug
Our body produces oxytocin during intimate hugs. The "love hormone" strengthens the emotional bond. I have Emily in my arm while sleeping. The family bed doesn’t suit everyone – for toddlers, the closeness is great. Even elementary school children love to crawl to mommy and daddy when they wake up.
I also love being close to the kids when I read to them. It makes them feel safe.
When something gets to be too much for kids, they speak up. Once Emily said with a grin, "Mom, you’ve kissed me enough for today."
There’s a lot of cuddling in our house – and the kids like to climb on top of daddy.
Cooking together – doing something as a family
Our kids love to peel the cucumbers for the salad. Or washing tomatoes. Children learn responsibility when they are allowed to help around the house.
Creating something together welds us together. With us there are no clearly distributed tasks. Except for cleaning the room once in a while.
Often they come with wishes. "Dad, can we bake cookies together this weekend?"
You don’t have to be a perfect homemaker to craft with the kids.
Besides, we love trips together. Of course, our kids regularly go on dates with friends. But we also consciously take time as a family.
You know when your kids respond after school to the question, "What did you do today??" answer with "Nix? At the amusement park, they often start talking of their own accord. Or during the common bicycle tour.
Praise your kids and describe what they did great
Instead of just saying, "Nice picture," the compliment is better received when we describe what we like.
"The dinosaur’s face looks dangerously real, Leon"!"
"You did a nice sweeping job on the butterfly, Emily. And picked out great colors!"
Or I praise Leon for how beautifully he reads to his little sister. And Emily for cleaning up her stuffed animals.
Helping even though the children can do something on their own
"Emily, you can hang your muddy pants on the hook by yourself," said a kindergarten teacher when Emily put them in my hand.
Sometimes the kids are tired and then it’s good for them to "get close to mommy" and get some help. It’s been a long day and while helping we can talk.
Even if advisors say something different – sometimes I consciously help the kids with something they already know how to do. If they ask me about it and are tired. Or if my gut feeling is right.
Scolding less and being more relaxed
Recently, Emily and I were running late at kindergarten. I was frantically bossing Emily around. "Please hurry up, the morning circle has started."
Then a mother and her child came in after me. She seemed completely relaxed and helped her child to finish quickly.
Both were smiling and chatting.
I realized that I was spreading hustle and bustle. In kindergarten, it is appreciated when the little ones are ready to go at nine o’clock in the morning. But being five minutes late once is no problem. Unless I make one.
My mistake was to transfer my impatience onto my child.
Apologize to your child and show understanding
"Mommy, you were too hard on Emily" Leon said a few days ago. "She accidentally spilled the glass of milk". Not extra!"
Phew, if even the big brother notices that. Quickly I ran to Emily and apologized. Then we cuddled and the atmosphere was harmonious and full of love.
My fault: the day was exhausting and the spilled glass of milk had given me the rest.
"Boa, Emily watch it" slipped out of my mouth. And she didn’t do it on purpose. I have also had things fall over. Just a few days ago a glass flew onto my floor, which was at the edge of the kitchen. And became a victim of my extending gesture.
Comfort your children and take them seriously
In Cuxhaven I have observed a family. The 4-year-old boy ran across the mudflats screaming loudly because he saw a crab.
Parents have laughed their heads off about it. "You’re not a girl" shouted the father. While the mom has made it clear to the toddler that he’s exaggerating and to stop being such a slob.
A crab on the beach may seem different to a child than it does to us.
Even a four-year-old wants to be taken seriously. Comfort and encouragement help – laughing at the child exposes him or her. And a boy is also allowed to cry and show his feelings sometimes. Suppressing them is not healthy.
Love your children as they are
Unconditional love is the most important thing we can give our children. We don’t love their grades or their performance. We love them the way they are.
Recently, I said to Emily, "Mommy, always loves you, even if mommy grumbles sometimes."
Then she answered me: "Everybody is allowed to be in a bad mood sometimes."
How do you show your kids that you love them? Never let our daily lives get so hectic that we forget our loved ones.
Because children who get love become adults who can pass on love.
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