Every child desires to be loved and treated with so much value.
When it comes to children, every little thing counts.
Tracy had her first child in her middle 30’s after waiting for years. Being the only child, she decided to take it open herself to pamper her child, showing her all the affection she could offer. She was even too scared to scold her child because she felt the child was too fragile to be scolded.
Nine years later, Tracy is confused about how her child reacts to her. She was dumbfounded the day her child poured her heart out angrily. Hurtful words kept ringing in her heart “you don’t love me mum. If you love me you would value my decisions”. Tracy sought for help on what she wasn’t doing right because based on her understanding, she is doing her best. So, what could Tracy do faced with this challenge?
Effective ways to make children feel valued:
- Know your child’s love language: A child’s love language is any form of love expression that when shown, makes the child feel loved. Many times, parents miss it here. They show love in the way they are fashioned and sometimes, their kids understands love in a different way. For instance, the story of Tracy shows that she tries her very best to show love to her daughter but her daughter does not see it same way. How Tracy can make her child feel loved is by giving her attention and not just buying gifts for her. Her daughter needs her to hear her own decisions too. Gary Chapman wrote a book titled “The 5 Love Languages”. It would be a good one to read if you discover this is why your child doesn’t feel loved. In the book, he mentioned the 5 love languages namely; Words of affirmation, physical touch, giving of gifts, acts of service and quality time. These love languages are unique and peculiar to different kids. In this case, what works for the goose might not work for the gander. Knowing your child’s love language is one effective way to make your child feel loved. Maybe you don’t know that’s why your child doesn’t feel loved and you’re getting frustrated already in spite of the hard work you are doing towards making your love relationship with your child work.
- Speak your child’s love language: The end product of knowledge is action. You are reading this article because you want to know so that you can put it into action. In this case, love is a verb. Speaking your child’s love language simply means expressing love in the way your child understands it. If you want to make your child feel loved, express love to him/her in the way you discovered he/she feels loved whenever that act is done. If gifts are the child’s thing, get toys for the child, surprise your child with gifts he/she likes. A child whose primary love language is gifts never gets tired of getting gifts. So also, words of affirmation like, you are amazing, you look beautiful, I love your shoes, you did great at school today, I am proud of you, the lists are uncountable. A pat on the back, a rub on the head, a peck on the cheek, squeezing a child’s palm etc speaks volume to any child whose love language is physical touch. When helping with school projects, sometimes doing your child’s chores, helping with assignments etc makes a child whose primary love language is act of service feel loved. Is your kid that one that loves you staying around him/her and listening to all his/her gist about school, friends, TV series etc? This one would always crave quality time very well. This is a very good guide on how to make your child feel loved.
- Give children attention: We all crave attention, how much more a child? Children especially babies and toddlers throw tantrum just to get your attention. They cry sometimes because they feel your attention is already divided. Giving your child attention makes your child feel loved. If you’ve always asked how to make your child feel loved, then this is game for you. Pay attention to them when they are talking, when they are exhibiting, when they are doing anything. Your comments and response is a sign that you’re paying attention to them. Attention speaks volume.
- Praise accomplishments no matter how little: You don’t need to wait until your child accomplishes a great feat like being the best in his class, coming up first position in an athletic event etc before you praise him/her. Children love to be praised for every little good thing done. As parents, the habit of always scolding your child more than you praise him/her needs to be stopped. It should be the other way around. Praise good behaviour and every accomplishment no matter how little it seems to be, more than you scold for wrong doings. Praises is an effective way of making your child feel loved.
- Show up for your child: Make yourself available whenever your child needs you. Don’t always give an excuse why you cannot show up for them. At school events, sporting events, Balls, competitions and the likes, show up. If you want your child to feel loved and valued, make sacrifices to show up for him/her. This little things speaks volume to your child feeling loved.
- Surprise them often: Children love surprises because surprises create beautiful memories in them. Do you want your child to feel loved? Surprise them. Do something unplanned but sweet. Startle your child, do things that would leave him/her perplexed and dumbfounded. Get surprise gifts for him/her. You don’t have to wait until their birthday to show them love. Make them feel loved every day and every moment spent with you.
- Permit them to follow their passion: Avoid enforcing your will on your child. Parents sometimes have the tendency of wanting to make their child follow a passion they couldn’t while they were much younger due to certain circumstances. As a parent, you need to realize that your child is different from you. Yes, you might have certain look-alike behaviors which are due to genetics but know that your child is not totally your prototype. Allow your child follow their passion for as long as it isn’t a dangerous one. Making your child feel loved comes with supporting their passion.
- Speak well of them to others: No matter how much your child pisses you off, speak well of them. The truth is that when your child begins to exhibit behaviors you are not pleased with; it is actually your fault as the parent of that child. Well, I would write about that some other time. Endeavour to speak well of your child outside. This is not to encourage lying about your child’s achievements but an attempt to select the good behaviors and accomplishments and speak about it to others.
- Do not compare: Comparison tramples on the esteem of a child. We all have an idea of our dream child. One who is totally obedient, very intelligent, talented, focused, fun and the likes. When you begin to force your child into your idea of a perfect child, you are forced to make comparison with another person’s child who you feel is the perfect idea of a child you’ve built in your head. Your child is your child and not another. So, it is your duty to walk him/her through every process. When you compare your child, he/she doesn’t feel loved and this tramples on the child’s self worth.
- Show empathy: Empathy simply refers to the ability to share and understand ones feeling. This is to mean that as a parent who wants your child to feel loved, share in their feelings. Don’t be too quick to judge your child even if they made the mistake. Empathize with your child first before you make corrections. Empathy is one of the very effective ways to make your child feel loved.
Making children feel valued is a process, but every child deserves to feel valued.
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