Loving your child is not enough, you also need to demonstrate it through words and actions, everyday. Here are some simple yet powerful ways to make your child feel loved and cared for.
Parental love is immensely important for the all-round development of a child. When parents express their love, it makes the child feel safe and secure. It also leads to the creation of happy moments, which, in turn, create cherished memories.
Luby et al in their study found that maternal love helps in increasing the volume of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with long- and short-term memory. The findings were published in an article titled 'Maternal support in early childhood predicts larger hippocampal volumes at school age', in the journal PNAS (2012). Research has also shown that children who feel loved, enjoy better physical health.
Given the crucial part this plays in your child's well-being and development, isn't it equally vital to demonstrate your love to your child? Here are eight simple ways you can do so:
Write notes: Leaving notes for your child can be a nice way to remind him of your love. You can write long notes for special occasions, like his birthday or festivals. However, you don't need an occasion to pen short, sweet notes to your child. Include phrases that will make your child feel cared for and special — for example, ‘love you!’ and ‘miss you’. You could even draw to express what you want to convey. Place the notes in places where your child can find and read them — under the pillow or, in his lunch box.
Paste stickers: You could get stickers that you know your child will appreciate, and stick them on her shirt or the wall of her room. Tell her that these will remind her of you every time she looks at them. You could also put the stickers on her backpack or lunch box.
Write a journal: Write down little tidbits about your child in a journal and share it with him. For example, you could write about something good your child did that day. Do this on a daily basis. When you finish filling up all the pages of the journal, give it to your child to read. Not only will this help him revisit sweet moments from his past, but also make him understand how much you care about his happiness.
Say ‘I love you’: These three simple words are the most powerful things you can tell your child. So, hug your child and tell her how much she means to you and how much you love her. Do this as often as you can. This simple act can go a long way towards conveying your love to your child and bringing you closer.
Pay attention: Children always want parental attention — while they are doing something or when they are in trouble or, when they are feeling happy. Paying attention to your child is one of the most important aspects of parenting and one of the best ways of showing your child you love him.
Praise the effort: Children feel more confident and encouraged when they can see their parents supporting their endeavours, rather than simply praising their achievements. So, praise the effort your child puts into whatever he is doing, regardless of the results.
Ask how the day went: Every day in a child's life is a roller-coaster ride. Your child does so many things and experiences different emotions. So, ask your child how her day went. Not only will telling you about her achievements make your child feel enthusiastic, but listening to her disappointments will give you the opportunity to boost her morale. Some of the open-ended questions you can ask your child are ‘What did you learn today?’, 'What was the most exciting thing that happened to you today?’ ‘Did anything make you feel sad or unhappy today?’
Participate in activities together: Children love working as a part of a team or leading one. Get together with your child and team up for his school project or work on a kitchen garden or, rearrange furniture in the house — the list is endless! This will help foster a sense of responsibility and leadership in your child. It also means you spend time together and get to bond better.
While we have suggested only eight tips, why not come up with many more of your own. Remember, even simple gestures to show your love can have a huge impact on your child, and determine the kind of individual he will grow up to be.