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The Top 60 Ways To Show Kids You Care

  1. Notice them and acknowledge them frequently.
  2. Smile a lot when around them.
  3. Kneel down, squat, or sit at their eye level when talking to young children.
  4. Acknowledge their efforts more then their results.
  5. Seek them out but also allow them space.
  6. Always remember and make a big deal about their birthdays and special days (don’t need to spend a lot, just make a big deal about it to let them know they are important).
  7. Ask them about and talk to them about themselves and what they like.
  8. Look in their eyes when you talk to them but allow them to look away if the subject is difficult.
  9. Listen to them and repeat back to them what you heard them say.
  10. Play with them and let them lead the play frequently, choose the toys, choose the games a lot.
  11. Read aloud together.
  12. Laugh, giggle, dance, sing act goofy together as much as possible.
  13. Be nice and model good kind behaviors.
  14. Say “yes” a lot. In fact, for each “no” find two or three things that are “yes”.
  15. Word things in positive terms (“Billy, use walking feet” instead of “don’t run Billy”)
  16. Tell them their feelings are okay.
  17. Set boundaries that keep them safe.
  18. Allow the feelings but redirect any dangerous, destructive, or abusive actions.
  19. Be honest, but keep adult information with adults.
  20. Listen to their stories they are usually telling you a little something about themselves.
  21. Hug them frequently but don’t force a hug if they don’t want one.
  22. Forget your worries sometimes and concentrate only on them.
  23. Notice when they're acting differently or seem to be having a lot of problems.
  24. Seek professional help when they need it.
  25. Present options when they seek your counsel (limit options for younger children).
  26. Play outside together as much as possible.
  27. Surprise them with good things or fun ideas every once in a while.
  28. Stay with them when they're afraid.
  29. When giving choices try to give two choices that will both accomplish what needs to be done. (Billy, we can do your homework and then watch your show or do your homework and then go outside, which would you like better)
  30. When they act out make sure you have supplied plenty of other ideas of ways to behave that still allow them to feel their feelings.  
  31. Delight in their discoveries, share their excitement.
  32. Send them a letter or postcard whenever you get a chance.
  33. When you have to be away on a trip, call them a lot and bring them something small when you return.
  34. Let them over hear you bragging about them or saying something good about them when they think you don’t know they are there.
  35. Find good things about them that are actually true and let them know often.
  36. Hide surprises for them to find.
  37. Give them space when they need it.
  38. Contribute to their collections.
  39. Discuss their dreams and nightmares.
  40. Laugh at their jokes.
  41. Be relaxed, calm, loving, and nurturing as much as possible.
  42. Answer their questions, or even better, help them answer them.
  43. Help them do things for themselves when ever possible.
  44. Create a tradition with them and keep it.
  45. Learn what they have to teach.
  46. Use your ears more than your mouth.
  47. Make yourself available.
  48. Show up at their concerts, games, and events.
  49. Find a common interest.
  50. Hold hands during a walk.
  51. Apologize when you've done something wrong.
  52. Listen to their favorite music with them.
  53. Keep the promises you make.
  54. Take lots of pictures of them.
  55. Display their artwork in your home.
  56. Thank them when they do nice things for you.
  57. Point out what you like about them or their work.
  58. Clip magazine pictures or articles that interest them.
  59. Ask them to help you do things, ask for their input.
  60. Adapted from the Healthy Communities Healthy Youth


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