What are your best memories as a child?
What are the family times that you’d love to go back to and live over and over?
Bet it wasn’t the biggest, bestest birthday party on the block,
or the most expensive present you ever got.
More likely it was the heart to heart bedtime conversations or the family game night that everyone loved…
or the time your big brother actually defended you on the playground instead of pestering you to death.
Sometimes in our modern age we are so busy making an impact we forget to make memories. Here are five ways you can make your child feel loved… every day.
1. Take the time to be present– really present with your child. Turn off your cell phone, stop watching t v and give your undivided attention for a designated period of time each afternoon or evening. Have a real conversation. Not just a litany of to do’s before they go to bed but a real discussion of what mattered to them during the day. Oh, and you can share what mattered to you as well.
2. Share meals together at home around the table. Turn off all screens. Don’t take phone calls. I know sometimes this can feel like the time when siblings pester each other with arguments and complaints and parents become the dinner police. Set a different tone with positive topics and suggestions about what you will talk about. Create an environment that everyone can look forward to.
3. Make bedtime a special time. Develop a routine. Read stories and review the day. Discuss what you are grateful for. Share how loved and precious they are. Create a calm and quiet environment that encourages sleep. Practice some relaxing breathing techniques. Say a prayer.
4. Recognize your child’s unique talents and strengths and nurture them. Point out their strengths and share your pride with others. Instead of complaining or expressing your concerns, share as many positive things as you can with family and friends. Make sure your child overhears you:) Encourage them to recognize and value their strengths as well.
5. Involve your child in decision making and problem solving. Whether it’s what to wear for the day, what to have for dinner or how to handle tough situations, let them know that their opinion counts. Teach them to be discerning in the choices they make through experience.
If Covid has taught us anything, it is the value of relationship over the many other distractions of the world. Make sure that you take the time to nurture them. That’s the best gift of all.
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Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Teamwork
Camping with his Boy Scout Troop is exciting and fun… until Max takes a serious fall while hiking. When Wyatt and the rest of the Scouts use their emergency training to get Max safely out of the woods, they learn the value of teamwork and the power of community to achieve big goals.
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Teamwork is another great example of helping kids improve their social skills. It teaches kids the power of working together and how much better we are when we work as a community.
~Melissa Toren Hrin, Professional School Counselor, Beverly Cleary School, Portland, OR