What is the one thing your parents always used to do, which showed you how much they loved you? Maybe they helped you with your homework, or maybe you used to go on beautiful camping holidays together. A child doesn’t need much in order to feel loved.

For him, it’s the little things that are important and that he will remember when he’s all grown up.

Here are the 10 most important small things you should do every day for your child.

 1. Turn off your phone and forget about it for at least an hour. During this time, spend quality time with your child. Did you know that 33% of Swedish children complained, in a survey, that their parents spent too much time on their phones? Children are fine observers and you can’t really fool them.

2. Sleeping time should be a special moment. And it doesn’t even have to last that long. Read to him every night, talk about your day, or maybe make up your own special game. For example, you could both think about the best or the funniest things that have happened to you throughout the day.

3. Physical affection! Hugs, kisses, caresses. Your child needs all these and they’re more important than words. A few nights ago, I asked my 2 and a half year old son about what “I love you” meant to him. And, after mulling it over for a few minutes, he answered: “A hug”.

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4. You must establish discipline through love, affection and respect.

5. Leave funny notes for him: in his lunchbox, under his pillow, on the clothes that he’ll be wearing the next day. It’s a great idea for parents who start work early in the morning and finish late at night and don’t have as much time to interact with the child as they wished.

6. When you speak to the child, look him in the eye. It’s a communication technique that especially works with small children – if you need them to stop doing something. But it’s equally efficient with older ones, because we’re talking about a moment that creates a strong bond and improves communication. You can learn so much by just looking into your child’s eyes!

7. Always smile, even when you’re really tired, stressed or upset. You child needs to feel affection from you. A smile proves that you’re there, that you’re available, that there are no clouds darkening his little universe.

8. Be a role model. Show your child’s dad affection – a caress, a kiss on the cheek, a smile. Your child is always watching you and the warmth of his home will always make him happy.

9. Involve him in the decision making process. Are you planning a holiday, next days’ menu or weekend activities? It’s a good time to include him in the decisions that concern the family. He’ll feel important; he will see that his opinion matters and he will see himself as a strong family member. You will see that the result will soon reflect in his behavior: he will be more responsible, pay more attention to what’s happening in the house and become more involved in other things as well.

10. If you notice that he’s unhappy, do something about it! Find out why: maybe he’s being teased by other children in school or maybe he witnessed a tense exchange of words between you and your husband and, as his best friends’ parents are getting divorced, he’s afraid that his family will fall apart as well. Find out what’s really bothering him and always encourage him to be open to you!

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