When children feel special, they behave differently than say when they feel rejected or ignored!
So, here’s 14 Ways to Make Your Child Feel ‘More’ Special
OK, first off… I realise that you already treat your child/teen special and this is not about assuming you don’t already. Just enhancing what you already do. We can all improve our approaches in Parenting and life.
Your child needs your time, love, and attention. As a parent, you’re probably the most important influence in their life, (although if you’re a parent of a teen you may feel the balance has tipped as friends feature higher up the influence ladder), either way it’s up to you to make them smile and build their self-esteem.
Consider these ideas for things you can do to make your child feel special and invent some strategies of your own.
Habits and rituals that become part of your routine family life will have the deepest impact for you. Even on your busiest days, you’ll be able to show your child how much you care just by doing your ordinary activities.
How to make your child/teen feel more special
Some techniques you can try at home… Integrate these practices into your regular routines:
- Be enthusiastic. Yes, sounds basic, but so many Parents these days are distracted. Listen attentively when your child wants to talk with you. Share their excitement even if the subject is boring or monotonous, for example if it’s something you’ve done or seen a hundred times.
- Demonstrate affection. Again, it might seem as though this is a given… but how conscious are you about it? Give your child hugs and kisses on a regular basis (even for those resistant teens… they’ll appreciate it, but likely not show it). Physical contact helps you bond with your children and may even enhance their brain development.
- Offer praise. Let your child know that you’re proud of them for their talents and for making an effort. Tell them how much you admire their ability to study, perform or be creative for example. Applaud them for completing their homework or helping someone who needed it.
- Ask for help. Enlist your child’s cooperation and give them a chance to teach or help you, too. Tell them that you appreciate the part they play in keeping the household running smoothly or name of the task they have helped you with. Thank them for explaining a new slang word or demonstrating how to play a popular video game.
- Go for a drive. Make your errands more meaningful. Invite your child to come along. Even if it takes you a little longer to complete your work, the conversations are worth it.
Even if you think your child or teenager will just sit there in silence or refuse to go with you. It’s worth pursuing in the long run. You can be the one to initiate the conversation or you can talk about trivial stuff then lead into more specific questions that trigger conversations.
And you know how those ‘chats in the car’ can be SO helpful… you’re focused on the driving so they feel less awkward about speaking up about things.
TOP TIP: Create a ‘no-judgment zone’ during car rides or walks, where any topic can be discussed openly without fear of reprimand or immediate solutions, fostering a safe space for sharing feelings.
- Encourage hobbies. How does your child spend their free time? Limit TV, gadget and computer time so they can take up a hobby or sport that will make them more interesting and feel accomplished.
- Do chores together. Taking responsibility builds your child’s confidence. Put them in charge of setting the dinner table or walking the dog. Let them know you can trust them and believe they are capable.
- Read bedtime stories. Obviously, this is age appropriate, but the hours spent preparing for sleep are an ideal opportunity to unwind and connect. Snuggle together and share your favourite books or make up stories based on your real-life experiences. Try to get creative.
Some of the best stories are those that teach life lessons at the same time.
- Enjoy family dinners. Shared family mealtime has been declining for a number of years, but you can reinstate this family tradition. Because mealtime is great chance to spend some uninterrupted time together. Your children will strengthen their conversation skills and probably eat healthier.
You are only limited by your creative imagination.
Of course, there’s also room for thoughtful surprises and occasional treats. You can brighten up your child’s day without having to spend a lot of money.
You can try the following ideas:
- Send mail in the post. Physical mail is so rare these days that anything you send may seem exceptional. Write a letter to your child for their birthday or give them a book related to their hobby or sport.
- Volunteer as a family. Helping others is a sure-fire way to feel more satisfied with your life. Talk with your child about what causes excite them and look for fun and easy projects that they’ll want to do again and again.
If you want to find out what organisations operate in your area… try this tip: Type the word Volunteering + your location into Google or other search engine.
- Plan outings. Short trips can give you more family time and help your child to continue learning outside the classroom. Visit a science museum in your neighbourhood or your next vacation destination.
- Dine out. Yes, it can be expensive, but often can be as simple as a hot drink and sandwich. But restaurants provide a fun place for brushing up on etiquette. You may want to start with casual spots where your child will feel welcome as they practice ordering off the menu and using their indoor voice.
This is what I often say when I’m coaching young people: ‘Education is liberation’.
- Celebrate holidays. Create family traditions for Christmas and Halloween and other religious celebrations. Even simple practices like baking a favourite dessert can become powerful over the years.
What you can do is plan ahead for the holidays and be creative, this makes the process much easier.
Making your child or teenager feel loved and respected will help them to grow up to be happy and responsible adults. Treasure your time together and create memories that you’ll both enjoy for years to come.
Any other questions, please email me.
Thanks, Annette x
P.S. Does your child or teen have issues with their emotions or feelings? Book them in for a FREE Coaching session with Annette and help them navigate life with more certainty and success. Click here for info>