How can we as adults and parents do our very best to make children feel special and approved – just as they are, not adding anything or taking away anything from their precious existence?
Every child deserves to be seen and heard, to have faith in themselves, and to feel like they can accomplish anything their heart desires. Here are four ways you can support your child and make them feel worthy of unconditional love.
1. Let your child feel all the emotions
Children are delightfully honest and straight forward. They have no issue in showing us how they feel. Experiencing different feelings is the child’s way of experimenting with themselves. “Who am I with all these big feelings and what parts (feelings) of me are approved and what are frowned upon?”, they ask themselves, studying our reactions.
Temper tantrums in the shopping mall can be hard to accept if we, the parents, are in a hurry and have a lot on our minds. During these outbursts we should try to be as neutral as possible and avoid condemning specific emotions with blunt directives, like “Stop crying!” Don’t bypass emotions but learn to understand your child’s needs. Be curious about the emotional person your child is growing into.
When your child is fully accepted with all his/her emotions, he/she will feel completely loved!
2. Thank your child as often as possible
Children learn from example. If you thank your child often, your child will learn to thank others too. Being appreciated makes your child feel seen and heard. Praise helps the child to really feel special, to have purpose. He/she will have a sense of ingrained gratitude as a superpower.
With the strong sense of gratitude, the child will be inclined to always search for the positive in situations. This will help to build a purposeful and happy life. What else could we hope for our children?
Be on the lookout for ways to say thank you!
3. Be present – your presence is the foundation for growth
To be rooted deeply in the moment is not always easy for us adults, but for our children, we want to make the effort. To be centered and calm, to connect on every level, both psychical and emotional is the most nurturing gift you can offer your child.
Yes, your child wants toys and clothes, but years from now, they won’t remember the toys. They will remember the time you climbed the jungle gym with them. They will remember how you read them bedtime stories and gave them your full attention.
Your child is worthy of your full attention every day – make those moments count!
4. Pay attention to your child’s hopes and dreams
“I want to be an astronaut!”
“I want to be a pop star!”
We might feel the need to protect our children and remind them of what we think is possible or what’s just not in the cards for them. It pays to remember that it actually was in the cards for all the astronauts and pop stars out there!
Instead of imposing our often-limiting views on our children, we could be curious and ask questions. What would they think being an astronaut would be like? Why do they want to be a pop star? What qualities do they think they have to be able to fulfill their dream, and what new skills should they learn? Be interested in your child’s dreams and the child will feel important and special.
We are not aware of every possibility in the future, so let’s not build unnecessary boundaries. Let’s support our children and let their imaginations roam free.
Who knows what the future will bring, but with the help of us adults making our children feel super special – the future looks bright!