Sometimes, I will peek in on my kids while they are sleeping and marvel at the fact that these little sleeping angels are my children. It’s during this quiet time at night when I can step back and forget about the messes, the crying and the lack of me time. I remind myself to appreciate my kids each and every day. After all, it won’t be long before they are grown and going off to college. If you have kids, here are five ways to appreciate them.
# 1 Show Them Affection
I always give my kids a kiss on the cheek and a hug before leaving. A hug can go a long way to show kids that you love and appreciate them. If you have raised your voice once too much, a hug can make things better. Affection benefits the entire family. If you have a baby, research shows “that children who get more positive touch and affection during infancy turn out to be kinder, more intelligent” individuals. So, snuggle up and don’t worry about spoiling your baby.
# 2 Watch and Listen
My daughter loves an audience. Nothing is more frustrating to her than when people aren’t listening to her. If you think about it, no one likes to be ignored. Little kids may say silly things. However, if you listen closely they say plenty of important things too. I think listening to kids really makes them feel valued.
# 3 Spend More Time with Them
There’s a parenting quote from Abigail Van Buren that says, “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money on them.” While we like to go places like Disneyland, some of my favorite memories with my kids are when we are just hanging out at our house.
# 4 Set Boundaries
At the moment, children, especially teenagers, may not want to have any boundaries. However, if I were to let my daughter eat candy every morning for breakfast, I really wouldn’t be appreciating her. I would be making her unhealthy. By giving rules and setting boundaries, we show children that we care about their well-being.
# 5 Acknowledge Their Successes
It’s easy to focus on the negative. However, although my daughter still needs plenty of reminders to pick her clothing off the ground, she has started putting her plate in the sink without me asking. I appreciate this and I let her know it.
I appreciate my kids when they are awake. I also appreciate it when they sleep.
More from Melissa:
Five Things I Never Thought I’d Do Before Being a Parent
My Mommy New Year’s Resolutions
How to Recover from a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Parenting Day