7 Different Ways To Make Your Children Feel Seen and Appreciated
Children thrive and grow when they feel seen and appreciated by their parents. Many of the problems of today might be attributed to children acting out in order to get attention from their mothers and fathers.
1. Involve Children in Conversations
Often, parents get so engaged in conversations with each other that common manners are lost, and the child gets ignored. If your child is in the room and the topic is appropriate, direct comments toward the child, ask what they think, and bring them in on jokes.
2. Verbalize Your Appreciation
When it makes sense, verbalize your appreciation for the things your child contributes to the household. An example might be to simply say, “When you take the trash out, it makes it much easier for me to keep the kitchen clean. I appreciate it.” Another example might be to talk about your child’s achievements to a friend when your child is within oversight. For example, “Gabriel was just awarded first place in his school’s art competition.”
3. Buy For 3, Not 2
It is disheartening for a child to see a parent bring home two chairs for the deck when there are three people in the house. No one wants to be overlooked in this way. Or for a parent to bring home two take-out meals and expect the child to eat leftovers from the fridge. Surprisingly, many parents make this mistake, always assuming that the child won’t notice being left out of the family.
4. Make a Point of Attending Their Events
With so many meetings, games, and appointments, these days, it’s hard for parents to attend all the events their children attend. But it’s important to make a point of attending special events like championship games, school plays, recitals, and more. Children will see that their parents are willing to set aside all other activities just to watch their child participate in something special.
5. Let the Child Choose Sometimes
Allow your child occasional moments to be the decision-maker. Let them choose where to go for takeout. Let them choose the bible verse to read at prayer time. Give voice to their opinions and preferences, and they will feel that you recognize them as individuals.
6. Make a Scrapbook Together
In today’s digital world, there are fewer tangible ways to show that memories matter. Start a family scrapbook with your child. Print out pictures, cut out embellishments, and decorate the book together. Sit down once a week or once a month to update the scrapbook.
7. Support Them When They’re Down
When your child gets melancholy, don’t just assume they’d rather be left alone. Go to them and offer to listen to what’s going on. Offer advice if asked for it. Otherwise, just be a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.
We all want to be seen and appreciated in life for what we have to offer. Is it so hard to realize that children desire the same things from their own parents? When we make these little efforts to show children that they matter to us, we not only strengthen the bond between parent and child; we also help our children grow stronger in their identity as a child of God.