In a world that is often unkind, it is more important than ever for parents to show kindness to their children. When we are kind to our kids, we create connection and love. We also help build self-esteem and confidence in our children. Think how much easier it will be for your child to go out in to the world with a strong foundation of kindness in their life.
Showing kindness to your kids doesn’t have to be overwhelming or extravagant. Check out these 40 simple ways to be kind to your kids.
Put down your phone
One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is your attention. Which is pretty tough to do when you are distracted with your phone. So put your phone away and focus on your child.
Make time for them
One of the best things you can do for your child is make time for them. Even if it’s just a few minutes each day, carve out some time to spend with your kid one-on-one.
Read: Connect with Kids
Get on their level
When you are talking to your kids, your kids have to look up to see you. Can you imagine always needing to crane your neck to see someone’s face? It’s such a simple thing to bend over when you talk, but it can make all the difference!
Let them be themselves
We all want our kids to be successful, but we also need to let them be themselves. Encourage your child’s interests and talents, and support their dreams. If they want to wear a mismatched or crazy outfit to school because they love it, let them! If they want to stay home and play with Legos instead of going to a party, let them do that too! It’s a small kindness that a lot of parents miss because they are worried about the vision they have of who their kids should be. Don’t miss who your kid is by worrying about who you think they should be!
Treat them with the same respect you want
Do you expect your kids to say “please” and “thank you”? Make sure you are following your own rules by treating them with the same respect you want.
Give them genuine compliments
Compliments are always nice, but they can have a special impact when they come from our parents. Try to give your child genuine compliments that show you are paying attention to them. Find small ways to compliment them regularly!
It’s so easy to nag, remind, or push your kids with your words. That’s why it’s essential that you speak love to them. Tell your kids you love them. Say it often, and mean it from the bottom of your heart. Let them know you’re proud of them. Words matter. Make sure yours are full of love.
Play games with them
When was the last time you sat down and played a board game with your kid. Our kids love it when we take time to have a game night, or even just squeeze in a short board game after dinner.
Add play into your day
Kids love to play. Play doesn’t always come natural to adults, but after a while it becomes easier to add play into your day. Turn on music while doing dishes so you can have a dance party in the kitchen after dinner. Tickle them a little when you change their diaper. Make a silly face at them during dinner. Your kids will love it!
Read to them
One of the most special things we can do for our kids is read to them. It helps with literacy, but it’s also a bonding experience. Snuggle up together and lose yourself in a good book.
Let them help you
Kids love to feel helpful! Let them help you make dinner, fold laundry, or put away toys. It makes them feel important and loved. Pretty soon they won’t be interested any more. Soak up the time that they want to help!
A hug is a simple way to show your love for your child. Hug them when they are sad, when they are happy, and just because you want to let them know how much you care.
Give them a kiss
Kisses are another way to show your love. Kiss them goodnight, give them a kiss on the cheek when you see them, or surprise them with a big kiss on the cheek.
Be there for them
When your child is going through something tough, be there for them. Offer a listening ear, let them cry on your shoulder, or just sit with them in silence. When they are doing something important. Be there. If they have had a good day…be there. Bad day? Be there! You kids don’t need all the things. But they do need you.
Breathe instead of reacting right away
We all want the best for our kids, but sometimes we react instead of taking a breath and responding in a way that is helpful. If you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry, take a step back and breathe. You’ll be able to respond better when you are calm.
Show (don’t just tell) when you ask them to do something
If you ask your child to do something, follow it up with a demonstration of what you want. Saying “Please clean the bathroom” can be overwhelming for a child. Instead, plan on walking them through the process. That way you can be there every step of the way as you show them what to do. You won’t have to do this forever, but the first several times it can boost your child’s confidence when they see you do it first.
Teach them something silly
Kids love it when we teach them something silly. It makes them feel smart and grown-up. Sing the ABCs backwards. Teach them a crazy dance. Show them how to whistle with grass while you are sitting on the lawn. They’ll love it!
Teach them about something you love
Kids are naturally curious, so teach them about something you love. It can be anything from cooking to biking or playing the guitar. When they see that you are passionate about something, they will start to question and explore things on their own.
Take care of yourself
I know it sounds counterproductive when talking about showing love to your kids, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of them. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and carve out time for you to do things that make you happy. When you are feeling good, your kids will feel good too. Not to mention, as you take care of yourself your kids will be empowered to do the same for themselves.
Take them outside instead of just sending them
It’s tempting to send our kids to play in the backyard when we feel like they need a minute outdoors. Instead of just sending them outside, go with them! Play tag, have a water balloon fight, or build a sandcastle together. Spending time outside together will create memories that your kids will always cherish.
Slow down to check out the small things
Your kids are trying to show you things all the time. The ladybug that crawled onto their hand. A new drawing. The birds playing in the trees next door. Slow down and enjoy the small things with them. When you take the time to appreciate the small things, your relationship with your child will grow stronger.
Let them explore
Kids are naturally curious, so let them explore. If they want to climb a tree, go for it! If they want to try a new food, let them! If they want to learn about something new, help them find information. When we allow our kids to explore and try new things, they will start to see the world as an
Sit and play with them
One of my favorite things to do is just sit down and play with my kids. We’ll build towers out of blocks, play catch, or make up a story together. When we take the time to sit and play with our kids, we are telling them that we want to spend time with them. And they will always remember those moments fondly.
Take their word for it
It’s so easy to listen to our kids with a skeptical ear. We want to make sure that they are telling us the truth, but sometimes we don’t have to doubt them. When our kids tell us something, take their word for it. They are probably not lying to us, and if they are, it’s not always as big of a deal as we think. Trusting our kids will make them feel loved and supported.
Clean their room as a surprise
It’s always a nice surprise when our room is clean without us having to do anything. Cleaning our kid’s room as a surprise can make them feel loved and appreciated. It also shows them that we trust them to keep their room clean. Bonus points if you help them organize it afterwards!
Do their chore when they are stressed or overscheduled
Kids can get overwhelmed easily, and sometimes their chores are the thing that feels like the last straw. When your kid is feeling overwhelmed or stressed, do their chore for them. It will show them that you care about them and want to help take some of the burden off their shoulders.
Send a note in their lunch
A quick, easy way to show your kid that you love them is to send a note in their lunch. It can be anything from a silly joke to a heartfelt message. When they see your handwriting, they’ll know that you took the time to think of them and write them a note. I love lunchbox notes! They are so easy to pop into your child’s lunch.
Read: 24 Lunchbox notes for kids
Make them a special breakfast
I love making my kids a special breakfast on the weekends. It’s a way to show them that I love them and want to spend some time with them. Plus, they always get so excited when they see what I made for them! Pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict…the possibilities are endless.
Assume they are doing their best
It’s so easy to get frustrated with our kids. We expect them to behave a certain way, and when they don’t we can get angry. Instead of getting mad, try to remember that your kid is probably doing their best. They are learning and trying new things every day, and it’s not always going to be perfect. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Give them a hug
A hug is always the best way to show your kid that you love them. Whether they had a good day or a bad day, a hug will make everything better. Plus, it’s scientifically proven that hugs are good for you!
Take them on an errand with you
Kids love going on errands with their parents. It’s a way for them to feel grown-up and important. Plus, you can teach them about money and how to navigate the world when you’re out and about. Win-win!
Leave a small gift or note on their pillow
A small gift or note on their pillow is a great way to show your kid that you’re thinking of them. It can be something as simple as a Hershey’s kiss or a love note. When they see the gift or note, it will make their day!
Pour a bath for them
Taking a bath is one of my favorite things to do. It’s relaxing and calming. Plus, it’s a great way to de-stress after a long day. When you pour a bath for your kid, you are telling them that you love them and want to take care of them. They will definitely appreciate the gesture!
Get their favorite snack at the grocery store
You buy snacks anyway. One of the easiest ways to show your kid that you love them is to get their favorite snack at the grocery store. It shows them that you were thinking of them and wanted to get something that they would love. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your kid over a yummy snack!
Make them laugh
I met a man yesterday that told me if he can make his kids laugh once a day, that he’s doing his job as a dad. Kids love it when their parents make them laugh. It’s a way to show them that you care about them and want to make them happy. Plus, laughter is good for the soul!
Pay attention to the most important 9 minutes
Have you heard about the most important nine minutes in a child’s day? They are the first 3 minutes after they wake up, the first 3 minutes after they come home from school, and the last three minutes before bed. What are you doing with those nine minutes? Are you filling your child up with love? Positive words? Attention? If not, you should be. Those nine minutes can make or break a child’s day.
I know it’s tough not to yell when our kids are being especially frustrating, but yelling is never the answer. It’s not going to make your kid listen to you any better, and it will only make them feel worse. Try counting to ten or taking a deep breath before reacting. You’ll be surprised at how much calmer you’ll be!
Notice the good
It’s so easy to focus on the negative things our kids do, but we should also make an effort to notice the good things. When we take the time to appreciate the good things our kids do, it makes them feel loved and appreciated. Make a list of ten things your kid did this week that made you happy, and post it somewhere where you can see it every day.
Listen to what they want to tell you
Kids have a lot of things they want to tell us, but we often don’t give them the time or space to do so. We’re too busy with our own lives to stop and listen. But when we take the time to really listen to our kids, they feel loved and important. They know that we care about them and their thoughts.
Display their artwork and photos
Kids love it when their parents display their artwork and photos. It’s a way for them to feel like they’re a part of the family and that we care about what they do. Plus, it’s a great way to show off their cute little faces!
Let them make mistakes
Kids are going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. As parents, we make mistakes too! It’s our job to help our kids learn from their mistakes. We should also try not to get too upset when they make a mistake. It’s important for kids to know that we love them no matter what.
Try to understand before doling out consequences
Some of my biggest parenting mistakes have been because I haven’t tried to understand my child before doling out consequences. I just assumed that I knew what was best for them or even that I knew what happened. But when we try to understand our kids, it makes them feel loved and appreciated. We’re also more likely to get through to them with our reasoning.
Parenting can be tough, but it’s also one of the most rewarding things we’ll ever do. These 40 simple ways to be kind to your kids are a great way to start building a strong relationship with your child. When they know that they are loved and valued, they will blossom into confident and happy adults. Thanks for reading