Reading together is bonding time. A time where you both stop and listen. Its the perfect opportunity to put your little one on your lap, get close and enjoy a tale together. Whether you read the story to them or they read a story to you - your little ones will never forget.
Think back to your childhood - what books did you love to read? Who's version of the story did you enjoy most?
I always loved The Elves and the Shoemaker. It captured my imagination as a child and I thought it was wonderful! It's a story I love to read to Little N now too and I feel delighted when she enjoys it so much, as its special to me. The story that sticks out the most for me however was a Mr Men Book - Mr Noisy. I requested that most nights as my bedtime read and my Dad used to make me laugh so much. He must have been so fed up of reading the same book over and over but he never showed it.
So when you read a story to your little one, just remember not only does it have the educational value it is an opportunity to bond and it may just be the book your little ones remember you reading to them in years to come.
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2) You made them feel valued
You may ask your children for their thoughts and opinions on something and take what they have to say on board. Giving them a special job to do and thanking them for it afterwards. Listening attentively to your children and spending one of one time with them all helps making them feel valued. That ride out you had with the windows down, playing your little ones favourite music followed by ice cream on the bench over looking the ducks playing in the water may just be the memory your little ones reminisce with you in years to come.
3) They got to sleep in your bed when they were poorly
When children are poorly all they want to do is be close to the ones they love the most. Do you remember sleeping in your parents bed when you were sick? As parents you never sleep with them sprawled out in the middle of you both, but your little ones wont forget you being there. It's such a treat to sleep in Mommy and Daddys bed!
4) You got stuck in and played with them
Engaging in your child's play is so important! Life can be so busy but the housework will always wait! Stop the jobs and engage in your little ones play. I'm not talking about playing all day but you would be amazed what 10 minutes here and there can do. You build the relationship you have together aswel as developing their language and understanding. I don't play with Little N for hours and hours each day, but I make the effort to stop what I am doing and engage in her play several times a day. I let her completely lead and add my input here and there. It always amuses me how she will go on to do things we have said and done with others then.
5) They were allowed to help
Children love to help! Whether it is helping you load the washing machine, dusting, cooking or digging in the garden. It may give you a much bigger job in the end and take much longer but your planting seeds in their hearts. Let them help you!
6) You truly listened to them when they were talking to you
Listening to you children will show them that you care and respect their mind. Engage in conversation with them and truly hear what they are saying. Listening in this way will teach them that they can come to you if ever they need to and know they will be respected and heard.
7) You told them you loved them every day
The three magic words - 'I love you' say it every single day.
8) They were included
Including your children whether it be on the shopping trip where you ask them to pick various items from the store or you let them help with the scanning. You may invite them to take part in discussions by asking them questions. They may want to help you prepare the dinner or feed the dog. Including them makes them feel special and valued and is such a boost forself esteem.
9) You made them laugh
I saw a quote that said "a family who laughs together, stays together" It is kinda true when you think about it too. Laughing is a great way to connect with people. It brightens your day and makes you feel uplifted and happy. This works with children too!
On average children laugh 200 times a day - how many of them laughs were you part of?
10) They were praised and recognized for their efforts
You know yourself when you succeed or you try something new how good it feels to have that pat on the back and be told 'well done you did great'. It does wonders for self esteem and confidence!
There we have it, 10 things your children will always remember. Plant the seeds in their hearts today for a brighter tomorrow. Childhood and Parenthood are precious and together you can make this a truly magnificent time for all of you!
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