My daughter’s teacher has the following quote taped on the front of her desk: “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.”
Despite seeing the laminated saying each time I walked my daughter to class, it took me a good two months to fully grasp the meaning of that single sentence.
As busy parents trying to keep our heads above the choppy waters of life, it’s easy to dismiss the little things our children do every.single.day. What’s more, it’s even easier to ignore the many opportunities we have to strengthen the bond we have with our children.
Imagine the joy you can bring to your child by doing the following “little things”:
Say Yes: That one little word can make a huge difference to your child. Instead of automatically saying “no” to your child’s requests because you are tired, busy or it’s simply a knee-jerk reaction, consider answering in the affirmative. Of course, before you do it’s important to ask yourself if your child’s inquiry is illegal, inappropriate, immoral, or unreasonable. If the answer is “no,” perhaps it’s time to give in and simply say “yes.”
Give Praise: Look at your child’s face the next time you pay him a compliment. If it’s one of utter shock then you might consider praising him a bit more. The positive things you say to your child should outweigh the negative; however, don’t get caught up in all the exaltation that it loses its effect. Be very specific when doling out compliments. For example, it’s better to praise your child’s skills and efforts rather than simply saying that he’s a good kid.
Be Present: It doesn’t get much simpler: Spend time with your child, even if it’s just for a few extra minutes each day. Those “little” moments can have a huge impact on your child’s behavior. After all, knowing that your parent loves you enough to do whatever it takes to spend time with you is a priceless gift to a child. Whether you warm benches at your son’s pee-wee football game, read a bedtime story every night or listen to him recap his day rather than turn on the car radio, showing interest in your child’s world is a move you won’t regret.