Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

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Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile.

  1. Go for a walk with just one child.
  2. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate ) into their lunch box.
  3. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.
  4. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park ridesas they do.
  5. When their room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.
  6. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandmaevery now and then.
  7. If your child has given it a good try, but he’s still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.
  8. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  9. Take in a pet that needs a home and a child’s love.
  10. Give your toddler a chance to fight his own battles in the sandbox or on the playground before you intervene.
  11. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall. Our tradition is Pizza Night on Fridays J
  12. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  13. Let your child wear their dress-up clothesto the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  14. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about them.
  15. Stay up late to see the full moon. There’s one on October 27.
  16. Print their childhood photos so they have something physical to look at one day.
  17. Don’t be in a hurry to tell your kid to let it go. He needs to vent too.
  18. Crank up the music in the middle of homework and have a dance party.
  19. Make a secret family handshake.
  20. Hang a whiteboard in their room to leave messages for each other.
  21. Start a pillow fight.
  22. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were their age.

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