By: Nancy Jergins
My daughter is a hugger. Even though she’s in middle school, she’ll often put out her arms and ask for a hug. And when she asks, I drop everything and hug her, and hug her, and hug her. Because not only is she a hugger… she’s a long hugger. So I put all thoughts of what I was doing or what I was going to do on hold until she lets me go. She makes it easy for me to accomplish one of the seven things you should do with your kids every day—show physical affection. For her, it’s hugs.
For my less affectionate 12-year-old son, I show him affection by mussing his hair or giving him a quick good morning kiss while he’s still asleep and cocooned in his covers in bed. And if those opportunities don’t present themselves, I’ll challenge him to thumb wrestling. Whatever it takes to make contact, right? In the midst of our busy, busy days, it is so easy to steamroll through the hours. Be sure you don’t miss these 7 things moms should do for the kids every day for a strong parent-child relationship.
1. Show physical affection.
A Hug A DayTake time to really connect with your child. Sit down and let your child crawl onto your lap. Make hug time fun. Muss your teenage son’s hair. Kiss your children on the cheek as you tuck them into bed.
2. Be fully present.
We know what we need to do to achieve this, but it’s not easy. We need to put down our phones, turn off our iPads, and stop loading the dishwasher when our children want our attention. Engage in conversations to learn more about them. Our Q&U App has hundreds of questions to ask your kids.
3. Be kind.
There is no doubt we love our children, but love without kindness doesn’t feel very loving. One of our most popular posts at iMOM is 5 Ways to Be a Kind Mom because we all want to be that type of mother to our children.
4. Use loving words.
A mother’s words are powerful! Do your best to make sure that most of what you say to your children conveys your love and acceptance. Compliment them every day and be sure to avoid these 15 things you should never say to your children.
5. Discipline calmly.
Disciplining our children is best done with calmness. While screaming at them might feel good and appear to be effective, it’s really not. Keeping our cool while we shape our children helps us to discipline with firmness instead of harshness.
6. Laugh with them.
A strong parent-child relationship needs a good dose of levity. Laugh with your children at what they think is funny. Point out things that you think are funny. And if all else fails—tickle them!
7. Pray with them.
Teach your child to prayWhen we pray with our children, we are showing them that we rely on God. This teaches them that they can rely on God too and that God’s love for us is the basis of our love for them.
Tell us! What else do you think moms need to do for their children every day for a strong parent-child relationship?