Our children are our greatest treasures and knowing how to make your child feel loved and valued is a wonderful and important skill. Kids thrive when their emotional needs are met and as their parents, we are at the front lines and at the ready to fill their love cups. If you are looking for direct ways to accomplish this task, you have come to the right place!
The following tips are designed to guide you and inspire you in this special parenthood quest! First, always validate your child’s feelings and listen to them. Children want to be truly heard. Whether they tell you that they are sad, angry, hurt, excited, worried, or scared (or their body language tells you instead), acknowledge this! Give them an opportunity to talk about what they are feeling and teach them that all these emotions are totally okay! And look at them in the eyes when they are talking to you.
Instead of dismissing them with pat answers, such as “oh, you’re just fine!” rather change the narrative by letting them know that you want them to describe what they are going through so that you can understand them better. When a child knows that an adult is listening and focused on them, it feeds their soul and allows them to open up. This builds trust and will make your child feel very valued. Secondly, give your child your undivided attention and good old-fashioned quality time. Nothing spells love to another human like being attentive to them! Whether you spend this time playing, reading, going somewhere, doing an activity, just talking, or whatever, the point is that you are doing it together! Making memories like this are bright spots in a child’s life!
To truly hone in on your child’s heart, leave distractions behind so that they know that they are number one. In our modern world, this can be challenging at times, but the rewards are so worth it! Whether you block off an hour or two during your day or take a whole day out of your schedule once in a while, watch your child light up as they bask in the one-on-one!
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What’s up next on how to make your child feel loved and valued?
Tell them point-blank… Words are powerful! Give them a routine that makes them feel special...a wake-up song or a bedtime story, a note in their lunchbox, or a special treat for their afternoon snack.
Ask them how their day went. Surprise them with something special or a parent/child date. Have family traditions and inside jokes.
Play something they like to play, even if it isn’t “your” thing. Give them a voice and let their opinion count.
Show appreciation when they are helpful or kind.
Compliment them in front of other people when they are within earshot. Celebrate them and not only on their birthday. PLUS:
Encourage and challenge them to explore their potential and their dreams! Children need to be believed in! Whatever they set their heart on matters and, as their parent, you have the unique opportunity to give them the confidence they need to move forward. If they know that you have their back, they can pour their heart into their passions. By affirming our children, we empower them. Not only can you offer verbal encouragement, but if possible, also try to supply them with whatever tools they need to succeed. The inspiration that you provide is crucial. And what if they change their mind midstream or things don’t go as planned? Let them know that that’s okay, too and that you support them through their growth journey no matter what!
Say Yes! more often, while also offering a safety net. Give your child as much freedom as you can. The space to make age-appropriate decisions for themselves is a wonderful gift that can help your child grow in confidence. And when you respect your child enough to allow them to discover the world on their own terms, you will gain their heart and trust. Letting go of control and force is one of the things that ultimately can make your child feel so loved and valued that a heart-to-heart connection is inevitable. If things go awry from their decision-making, they will turn towards you, not away from you. And when you offer yourself as a safety net to your child, this gives them a beautiful sense of security.
And finally, follow the science and offer them lots of hugs!All people need human contact and kids, especially, thrive on lots of physical interaction. Younger children are also most likely to need to be held, snuggled, and kissed more often. As kids get older and more independent, it sometimes seems that they don’t need affection or a parent’s arms around them now and then, but don’t let them fool ya!
No matter what age your child is, find a way to reach out to them so that they feel your closeness and acceptance. Sometimes a touch on the shoulder, a hug before bed, or an evening of cuddles can make all the difference and remind a child of their inherent value.