By John E. Laing
Although they might seem like it, children aren’t too complicated. There are very few things that they request of us in their first years; however, these requests are essential in helping them grow up to be kind, respectful additions to society.
As parents, there are 15 main things that children will want from you as much as possible. If you can do your best to provide these things to the best of your ability, your child’s future will be brighter than ever.
Here are the top 15 things kids want from their parents:
1. A Good Goodnight
Going to bed is so much better when parents spend some quality time with their children. Take time out of your day to tuck them in, sing them a song, or read them a bedtime story.
If you don’t have any books, you might consider making up a story yourself, or telling them about your childhood. Children are very receptive to parents who use their imaginations, too!
Showing affection is one of the essential experiences that children have while growing up. Parents should always remember to give lots of praise, cuddles, and love, even after a long day.
Even a friendly conversation one-on-one can be a tremendous help to a child who wants to be heard. Share some time asking your child about their day and what they enjoyed most.
3. Private Time
Having a good connection with your children means giving them your full and undivided attention as much as you can. Children will benefit from feeling like their time is valued, especially if it’s planned out and isn’t rushed.
With more than one child, it’s essential to provide each one with their time with you. It’s hard to connect when things are busy and loud, so let them choose a place and activity that you can enjoy together.
4. Positive Food Advocates
Lots of children are picky, but that’s no reason to throw in the towel and serve up pizza every night. Children need to learn that healthy foods can also be delicious and satisfying, and that starts at home in the kitchen.
Work together on meals, or even help them to grow some vegetables in the garden. Children should learn early on that dessert is not the only delicious meal, so that they’re set up for success in the long-run.
5. Plans to Look Forward To
Show your children that you love hanging out with them, and give them fun things to look forward to with you. You might plan fun events on the weekend, or surprise them with weekday activities if they’ve been well-behaved.
Showing your children that you’re excited about quality time will make them feel good about themselves and their relationship with you.
6. Conversations Before Bedtime
Bedtime means winding down, but this is also a great time to take advantage of beneficial conversations. Set aside time before they go to sleep to talk about their day, their friends, or anything else they can think of.
Allow them to lead the conversation; kids like to feel heard.
7. Time to Play Outside
Studies have shown just how beneficial and vital outdoor play can be for children. Not only children, either; people at every age benefit from being outside!
Encourage kids to stay off screens and televisions and to explore the world outside instead. Allow them to spend as much time as they want outdoors, either playing games, going for walks, or socializing with neighborhood children.
8. Time to Watch Their Favorite Show
The only thing better than getting to watch their favorite show is watching is with a loved one! Grab a blanket and settle in for a good cuddle while your child enjoys their most preferred shows.
You can let this be a quiet time, or you might ask them questions to engage them.
9. Discipline When Necessary
Children need guidance when it comes to learning about appropriate behaviors and responses. Showing discipline might not be a parent’s favorite thing to do, but it does teach a child that they are invested in them and want the best for them.
Even though they might not show it, children do find value in being disciplined.
10. Leave Special Messages
Surprises are always pleasant, even if it’s a little note or present ‘just because.’ Consider putting notes in your child’s lunch bag or backpack, especially if they’re having a bit of a rough day.
Having that little jolt of happiness is always lovely when its unexpected.
11. To Be Silly
Sometimes children are looking for approval to be silly, but the best way to give them permission is for parents to be silly themselves!
Playing dress-up with your kids and acting out stories will help them to come out of their shell and work on their imagination. Kids can be wildly creative when they don’t feel like they have to hold back or act a certain way.
Surprise them with costumes, crafts, or a pillow fight! The options are endless.
12. To Be Less Stressed
Surprisingly, children are very observant and receptive. They will often notice when their parents are stressed or upset, and it takes a toll on them as well.
Many children want to see their parents happy and relaxed, which in turn makes them feel more positive as well. Regardless of what’s bothering you, try to keep things simple.
If you’re short for time, don’t feel bad about ordering dinner. If the house is messy, invite your kids to help you get things done faster. Don’t let anything take longer than it should; work together now, play together after.
13. Play Dates
Adult time is fun, but it can also be beneficial for everyone to have play dates with other parents, too! Children can socialize together, or they can hang out with the adults and become comfortable with your friends.
Children don’t have all the answers; in fact, adults rarely have all of them either! Children will look to their parents for guidance, though, in all kinds of situations.
They might look to you when they meet a stranger, face a new experience, or are unsure how to express their feelings. If you’ve established a level of trust in your relationship, your child will feel safe enough to be set in the right direction by you.
Parents sometimes don’t realize it, but their children are always looking to them for approval for all kinds of things. More than anything, they want to make their parents proud!
Keep an eye out for opportunities to champion them, even if it’s the smallest achievement. Doing so can boost their self-confidence and their willingness to try new things.
Essential Things to Keep in Mind
Parenting is tough and covering all of these things every day isn’t always possible. However, keep these 15 things kids want from their parents in mind and practice them as often as you can.
They will help you to build a strong relationship with your children and encourage them to flourish into successful, young adults.
John E. Laing started SpeedReadingCenter.com in August of 2009. He has been researching speed reading for over 5 years and during that time learned what works and what doesn’t.