The small things. It's human nature to think that the big things matter more…Christmas morning, vacations, birthday parties, etc…but the truth is the greatest love can be shown through the small things. I just read an article from www.powerofmoms.com that examined three small things that can make a HUGE impact in a child's life.
How simple is that?? I'll quickly sum it up for you.
1. Children need a minimum of 8 touches each day to feel connected to a parent. The younger the child, the easier that is. The opposite is also true. The older the child, the more challenging that can become. A touch doesn't necessarily mean snuggle time (although it could, if your child wants to snuggle!). A touch can be a hand on the shoulder, a high five, a pat on the back, playing with their hair, or a simple hug. If a child is going through a challenging time, then that number needs to be increased to at least 12 touches! This will give them connection to you.
2. Every day, children need to have eye-to-eye contact with their parent. As parents, we have conversations with our children all day long, but let's take an honest look at those conversations. How many take place while we are looking at our phones? Or computers? Or while we are doing the dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, or any other multitude of tasks we do throughout our busy days? I can't even tell you how many conversations I've had with my 3 kids in the last 10 minutes while typing this! Obviously, we can't stop in our tracks every time our children speak. We would never get anything accomplished, but it is important to make sure that at some point in the day…everyday…we give our children our undivided attention and look at them, I mean really look at them, while they talk to us. This will give them self worth.
3. There are 9 minutes in every day that can have the biggest impact on a child. They are broken down into 3 specific times: The 3 minutes when a child first wakes up, the 3 minutes when a child first comes home from school, and the 3 minutes before a child goes to sleep. Ironically, these 9 minutes can be the most difficult minutes sometimes! I know dragging my children out of bed in the morning is not an easy task and getting them back in there at night can be just as painful sometimes! The key is to plan those extra minutes into the morning and nighttime routines so you're not feeling the time crunch pressure. After school, if possible, take 3 minutes to help your child decompress, have a healthy snack ready for them, ask them specific questions about their day, just be open to whatever they feel like talking about. 9 minutes may not seem like much, but those 9 minutes will give them security.
Connection, self worth, and security will not only help our children feel more loved, it will help fill their buckets! Imagine, if all of the kids started their day with a full bucket, they would never feel the need to dip into someone else's bucket! Those 3 small things may take time to implement on a regular basis, but once you build them into your daily routines, you and your child will both reap the benefits!