Kids are great, aren’t they? They can teach us a lot, especially how to slow down and pay attention to what is important in life.
Here are 25 little things that mean a lot to kids:
1. Undivided attention
Put that phone away and meet your child eye to eye. Really pay attention to them, and nothing else.
2. Their world
It seems like kids live in a continual world of make believe. As a parent, you have to be the responsible, level-headed one. But once in awhile, step outside of the adult zone and act more child-like. One awesome way to do this is to join their make believe world. Who cares if Legos aren’t actually alive? Just go with it.
3. Creative pursuits
Kids love to create, even if what they are painting or gluing together isn’t a masterpiece. The important part is the process.
4. Dance parties
Kids love to dance. Get a bunch of kid dance tunes going and let loose! Show your kids some of your own dance moves.
Kids need physical touch, and nothing is better than cuddles. Some kids ask for them, and others act testy until you realize that they need a little love.
6. Best friends
Kids love their parents, but they need people their own age who love and accept them. Help them foster friendships with other great kids.
Kids won’t tell in words that they need rules and boundaries, but they will with their actions. Kids who test boundaries and rules are actually testing the structure to see how strong it is. When they realize it is strong, they feel more secure.
8. You notice things about them
Maybe your middle child is hilarious—pointing out that he is a comedian makes him all the more excited. You noticed something about him, and you’ve reinforced a trait to him. It will make him feel good at building confidence.
Children obviously don’t like to be told what to do. As they age they especially appreciate choices. Even if it’s a matter of choosing between which chores to do, or when do to them, they love the power of choice. It helps them have a little bit of control.
10. A predictable schedule
There is comfort and safety in knowing that meals come at a certain time, bedtime comes at a certain time, and other activities come at certain times.
When birthdays or holidays come, children definitely look forward to decorating and celebrating in the same way your family chooses to celebrate.
12. Photos and stories
Sure, they haven’t been alive all that long, but they love to look back at photos of themselves and hear stories about when they were little. So print some pictures for an album and tell them about when they were born, learning to talk, etc.
Get your child a little apron and invite them to get mixing! Whether it’s helping to make dinner or making a special treat, your little one will love just cooking together.
14. Playing outside
Children get cabin fever if they’ve been cooped up too long. So go throw the ball back and forth, hop on your bikes, or go for a hike! Get outdoors and have fun playing.
15. Not be in a rush
Stomping in puddles and smelling the flowers are just part of the fun when a kid goes anywhere. So if you’re headed to the store or doctor’s office together, leave early to factor in some time to not be in a rush.
16. Grandma and grandpa time
Kids have a special kinship with their grandparents. Help facilitate special time so they can bond.
17. Showing interest
Maybe her love of the moment is a movie you don’t really like, but showing some interest in it will mean the world to your child.
18. Their artwork
Proudly displaying their creations makes them feel proud.
19. Regular one-on-one time
Especially if you have several kids, they each need their own time with you to connect and feel special.
20. Hearing “I Love You”
Maybe you show your love to your child, but hearing it is great, too.
Your child may not be able to communicate all of their thoughts and feelings; really listening will help them feel like you care and are hearing what they are truly saying.
22. A healthy environment
A clean and safe place to live, good food to eat and all of the necessities of life are something kids will truly appreciate.
Kids love to be silly, and they love it even more when their parents are silly.
Don’t tell your child what to do all the time, but rather guide them. Offer options and talk about what they want to do in life.
When a child’s favorite sport is soccer, for example, and you support their passion and give them opportunities to pursue it, for a kid there is nothing better.