1. Write little notes for your child. In this age of texts and emails, a small message tucked inside a school bag or lunch box can be a nice treat for kids.
2. Hug when you say goodbye and when you say hello.
3. Have dinner together. Research shows that eating dinner with parents is associated with a number of benefits for kids including reduced risk of substance abuse, higher grades, and better self-esteem.
4. Read together. Grab your own book or some bills or work you need to catch up on and snuggle right next to your child for some quiet reading time.
5. Plan activities you’ll enjoy on the weekends. Whether it’s a picnic, a hike, a trip to the museum, or just hanging out to watch a new kids’ movie, planning something to do together and looking forward to it is a great way to show your child how much you love her.
6. Say “Thank you” and “You’re welcome.” One of the biggest benefits of raising a grateful child is that they appreciate the little things you do for them. When they say “Thank you,” always say “You’re welcome.”
7. Give your child your full attention. A recent survey found that kids are noticing that parents are distracted and on their phones rather than paying attention to them. Make sure that you block off some time to really stop, look, and listen to your child, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
8. Share something about yourself. Sharing something from your own life can help your child feel more connected to you, and will make him feel proud that you value his opinion.
9. Play with your child. Whether it’s playing a board game, building something with Legos, or making fun crafts together, do something fun with your child.
10. Discipline, with lots of love and understanding. When you take the time to teach your child what is and isn’t good behavior in a loving but firm way, you are showing that you care about him and how he relates to the world around him.
11. Tell your child what you love about her. Make a point to tell your child something good you noticed about her each day.
12. Laugh together! Never underestimate the power of being goofy together. You can find ways to inject fun into the most ordinary routines.
Adapted from www.verywell.com