30 Easy Ways to Make Your Child Feel Special and Loved
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. This is especially true with children: Getting an extra story at bedtime, being allowed to pick out the family’s pizza toppings, or stopping for ice cream after school may not be a huge deal to you, but it is to your kids. Kids want to feel special, noticed, cared for, and loved. When you go out of your way to do something extra for them—like putting chocolate chips on their pancakes because they enjoy it—your children are likely to see it as extra confirmation that you love and cherish them. They already know you care, but these moments simply reinforce that truth while giving them ample reason to smile. If you’re wondering “what do kids like?,” the answer may be simpler than you think. Here are 30 easy things you can do to let your children know how much they matter to you.
1. Display Their Artwork
Displaying your child’s artwork is a great way to make them feel proud and accomplished. Hang their paintings in a special place and wear the macaroni necklaces they make. It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way.
2. Brainstorm a Family Mantra
Tape a family mantra or slogan to your refrigerator door and cite it whenever your child feels discouraged. For example, you can use phrases like “Unstoppable!” or “We can, we will!” or “We’ve got this!” These familiar slogans are guaranteed to improve their mood.
3. Spend Quality Time Together
Take the time to have one-on-one bonding with each of your children. Whether it’s going for a walk or visiting a place that interests them, such as the movie theater or a craft store, this quality time will make them feel loved and valued.
4. Write Lunch Box Notes
Slip a sweet note or a funny joke into your child’s lunch box to brighten their day. Show them that you’re thinking of them even when you’re apart.
5. Share Their Interests
Show genuine interest in your child’s hobbies and activities. Whether it’s playing Minecraft together or joining them in a dress-up game, participating in their interests will make them feel loved and appreciated.
6. Turn a “No” into a “Yes”
Surprise your little one by saying “yes” to something that is usually off-limits. Whether it’s sitting on the kitchen counter or having dessert before dinner, this small gesture will make them feel special and loved.
7. Become a Thrill Seeker
If your child enjoys thrills, show enthusiasm when experiencing them together. Whether it’s amusement park rides, playground swings, sledding hills, or bicycle paths, embrace the excitement and create lasting memories.
8. Wear Matching Outfits
Create a bond with your child by wearing matching outfits. Give them a bracelet or a T-shirt that matches one you have. They’ll love being your “mini me” whenever they wear it.
9. Don’t Stress the Small Stuff
Occasionally, cut your child some slack when it comes to keeping a tidy room. Especially during busy times in their life, let go of the need for perfection and focus on what truly matters—making them feel loved and valued.
10. Make Video Calls
Bring your child into a video chat with Grandma or another favorite relative. Let them share details of their lives, just like you do during the call. It’s a great way to strengthen family connections.
11. Let Them Quit Unenjoyable Activities
If your child genuinely dislikes a particular activity, such as soccer or swimming, let them quit if they’ve given it their best. Recognize that every child has different interests and encourage them to pursue what truly brings them joy.
12. Get Messy Sometimes
Allow your child to embrace their playful side and get messy. Let them stomp in puddles or play in the muddy backyard. These experiences create memories and show them that it’s okay to have fun and let loose.
13. Make Something Special for Them
Get creative and make something special for your child. Use glitter glue to make a birthday card or create a personalized gift that aligns with their love language. This gesture will make them feel cherished.
14. Adopt a Pet
Consider adopting a pet that needs a home and a child’s love. If a dog or cat isn’t suitable for your family, think about smaller animals like guinea pigs or fish. Taking care of a pet can teach your child responsibility and empathy.
15. Give Them Independence
Teaching independence is crucial for young kids. Allow them to solve their own problems and fight their own battles on the playground. This will empower them and give them a sense of accomplishment.
16. Ask About Their Day
Wait for the right moment to ask your child about their day. Give them a chance to decompress and relax before engaging in a conversation. The dinner table is a perfect time to get the full rundown.
17. Establish Fun Rituals
Create family traditions that your children can look forward to. Whether it’s Taco Tuesdays, Sunday bike rides, or apple picking in the fall, these rituals strengthen family bonds and create lasting memories.
18. Play the Role of Student
Let your child take on the role of a teacher and teach you about something they enjoy. Whether it’s cartoons or drawing, acknowledge their expertise and praise them for their knowledge and skills.
19. Express Their Creativity
Encourage your child to express their creativity and individuality. Let them wear whatever they want to the supermarket, even if it’s dress-up clothes or footie pajamas. Show them that their unique self is celebrated and loved.
20. Praise Them Often
When your child is within earshot, say something wonderful about them. Acknowledge their achievements and strengths, whether it’s their artwork or their singing voice. Kids respond well to praise, and it boosts their self-esteem.
21. Watch the Sky
Stay up late during the summer to watch the stars or the full moon with your child. Use the Farmer’s Almanac to find the best dates. This shared experience creates magical memories that will last a lifetime.
22. Print Photos for Them
If your child enjoys looking through photo albums, print some pictures of their friends and family. This way, they’ll have physical photos to cherish and remember their loved ones.
23. Always Listen to Them
When your child is upset or frustrated, lend them your ear and let them vent. Encourage them to express their feelings and validate their emotions. This will show them that their thoughts and concerns are important.
24. Cook a Fun Breakfast
Surprise your child with a fancy breakfast on a random weekday. Whip up some heart-shaped pancakes or get creative with their favorite breakfast foods. This small act of love will start their day on a positive note.
25. Have an Impromptu Dance Party
Turn homework time into a fun and energizing dance party. Crank up their favorite music and let loose together. This playful activity will bring laughter and joy into their routine.
26. Act Like Spies
Create a secret family handshake and perform it whenever you do a specific task together, like unlocking the car or starting the dishwasher. This shared secret will make your child feel connected and special.
27. Leave Sweet Messages in Their Room
Hang a whiteboard in your child’s room where you can write messages for each other. Leave fun drawings, poems, or jokes to brighten their day and show them that you’re thinking of them.
28. Start a Pillow Fight
Surprise your child with a spontaneous pillow fight in the middle of the living room. Let them release their energy and enjoy the laughter and excitement together.
29. Get Sentimental
Share your childhood memories with your child. Show them old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were young. Engage in a conversation about how times have changed and create a connection through shared experiences.
30. Recognize Their Contributions
Thank your child when they contribute to the household, even for small tasks like hanging up a wet towel or refilling a water pitcher. This recognition shows them that their efforts are valued and appreciated.
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