Parenting is a juggling act. When you have more than one child, you constantly feel pulled in different directions between their needs. Family life is busy and it becomes a challenge to carve out time for each child. Yet you want to give each of them attention and special moments, to help give your kids confidence. When you feel like you are being spread too thin, it can make you feel guilty or inadequate as a parent. It’s tricky to strike a balance to make all your children feel special but it’s possible.
Here are 14 simple but powerful ways you can make each kid feel like a VIP.
Make eye contact
It sounds obvious but how often do you find yourself scrolling through your phone when your child is talking to you? Or do you find yourself staring into the distance as your thoughts run through all the things you have to do next to keep this whole ship afloat?
You don’t mean to but your attention drifts as they launch into a convoluted story about their day. One of the easiest ways you can make them feel special and improve your kids confidence, is simply to give them eye contact. To stop and listen. And make them feel like they’re worth listening to, however busy you are.
Make 10 minutes of uninterrupted time together each day
This one’s hard as family life can be busy and there never seems to be enough time. Spending one on one time with each child can be as little as 10 minutes. That’s not a big slice of time to carve out.
Just aiming to do so can make all the difference in improving your kids confidence. Switch off your phone and the TV, and make sure any siblings are happily occupied. Then you can really focus on your child. All those little moments can add up to a whole heap of time when the light has shone on them and they have felt special.
Ask the right questions
Ask about what you know was coming up in your child’s day. Maybe ask what they’re into, about the book they were reading or that game they were playing.
Tuning into each child’s hobby or passion or latest craze can let them know that you’re interested in them, as an individual. It can make children feel special and improve kids confidence.
Create everyday traditions
Your week will probably have a pattern, with the routines of what each child does each day. An easy thing to do is to build little traditions around this set routine.
If your youngest comes with you to watch your eldest’s swimming lesson, grab this as a time when you chat together or do puzzle books or play games together. If your little one has drama on a Thursday, extend your time to always share a hot chocolate together on the way home. If you and your eldest always wake up earlier on a weekend, make it a tradition where you both head out on a morning walk to the shops to choose a lovely breakfast for the rest of the family to cook together when you get home.
There are beautiful traditions to be had in the everyday.
Leave your children little notes
Pop little notes into each child’s packed lunch box. Leave little letters under their pillow or use a cocktail stick to poke out little words into a banana for their snack. Leaving little loving and happy notes for your child to discover is a great way to let your child know you are thinking of them. It will improve kids confidence and make them feel valued.
Give big squeezy hugs and big sloppy kisses each and every day.
Have a bedtime snuggle with your child clad in cosy pyjamas, nestled on your lap while you read stories to them. Make a special handshake to say goodbye when you drop them off at school.
Each and every little moment of affection improves your kids confidence and builds up to them feeling so very loved and secure.
Create affectionate nicknames for your children. They can be silly or cute but using them often can help build a special bond. Loving nicknames can make them feel valued for their unique personalities.
Put a surprise gift under their pillow
Every now and again wrap a small gift and place it under your child’s pillow.
It can be something tiny but a wonderful surprise. Maybe it’s a packet of stickers they have been collecting or even just a teeny toy you know they’ll treasure. It could be a funny photo that you had printed out from your phone. Knowing that you’ve taken the time to buy and hide the gift can make your child feel special and loved.
Ask them to be your buddy on little errands
Life is busy but there are so many times when you have to nip to the shops for more groceries, pop to the postbox to send a letter or walk the dog. Enlist one of your children to be your buddy on your errand.
Even if it’s a short walk or drive they will feel special to be chosen as your little helper. It’s a great way to carve out a little bit of together time.
Love what they love
You might not really share their fascination for LOL dolls or Minecraft but fake it anyway. Do your research, ask questions, show interest and be involved in their hobbies. Best of all, join in a little. Have times where you sit by them and ask them to explain all about their hobby or their toys. By taking an interest in what they love, you are showing them that you are taking an interest in them too.
Stop everything and be silly
This works for all your children. Stop what you’re doing. Even if you’re in the middle of a chore or really want to check that email (it can wait) take time to be silly.
You could put on a song and dance around the kitchen, ask your children to teach you how to floss, grab some satsumas from the fruit bowl and challenge everyone to try juggling. Playing and giggling together is a great way for everyone to feel happier and more together.
Once a week do something special
It’s hard to do but if you can carve out time each week or fortnight to spend one on one with each of your children, it can make them feel valued and special. It can be heading out for a walk, treating yourself to ice cream at a local cafe or going to the museum together. Even if it as short as an hour it makes a difference to your kids confidence. Making time to be with each of your children and to focus all your attention on them and to carve out memories together, can be a game changer.
Life gets busy. Especially if you work. But wherever and whenever you can, show up to cheer on and support your child. Go watch that play, that game, that concert. Ask your boss to take time off to go into the special assembly where your child is performing. If you really can’t make it rope in Grandma and Grandad to go along. They can film it and you can make a big deal of watching it later on.
Many parents find that come the witching hour (the time after tea but in the long yawning hours before bed) their energy just crashes. Their faces are etched with tiredness and grumpiness and please-just-let-it-be-bedtime-ness. Catch yourself and break into a wide goofy grin, to make your children giggle and smile right back at you. Smiles are infectious. And suddenly breaking into a big cheesy grin can light up your child’s face too.
It’s sometimes all the little things you do which show your child that you love them. They show your child that they are special to you, that you care, and they can add up to a whole heap of love. But busy family lives can mean it’s all too easy not to show them quite obviously, just how loved they are. By building in all these little things into your days and weeks, you will improve your kids confidence and make each child feel like a VIP.