by Aruna Kamath
Being a working mom, I’m always busy in my head or lost in thought – most of the time, ticking off to-do lists or worrying about something else to do.
In our fast paced lives, we get so caught up with our jobs and day-to-day chores that we hardly get time to spend with our kids. In the process we also forget to say or do the little things that mean so much to them. While every parent cares for his or her child, it’s the little acts of love that make a big impact in their everyday life. You may be the most generous parent, buying your little one the latest gadget even before she can ask for it. But, at the end of the day, if you haven’t bothered to ask your child how the new gadget was and if she enjoyed playing with it, you’ve not really touched an emotional chord.
Over the years, I’ve realized that more than anything else, kids need tender loving care (TLC). Just as any relationship needs constant nourishment, it’s much the same with kids. Children feel safer when they know they are being loved and cared for. They flourish and grow into stronger, confident individuals when you re-iterate your affection. Besides, it’s a great way to strengthen family bonds.
There are infinite ways to express your love and affection. Here are a few things that I do and say to my daughters on a daily basis.
Greet them in the morning: Nothing like a wide-eyed, chirpy ‘good morning’ wish to drive away the morning blues. Starting the day on a positive note uplifts their mood – and yours too!
Wish them a nice day: When seeing them off to school at the door, this is one thing I never miss to say. It’s just another way of saying I care for you!
Demand kisses: I do this all the time. When they’re going past me, I just grab them and ask them to give me a peck. It’s a simple reminder that you seek their love – without having to say it.
Give them a warm hug: I sneak up on them at different times of the day and wrap my arms around them tightly. And when I do, I don’t let go unless they do. Believe me, the hug that you get in return is truly magical and can melt away all your worries and tiredness before you can say ‘BINGO’!
But don’t reserve those hugs only for good times. Give them a hug even after an argument or a meltdown.
Ignore the phone: if the phone rings when I’m busy with the kids, I don’t answer it. After all, that’s why the caller identity is there. You can always call back the person.
If kids are your top priority, show it to them as often as you can, in your own little way. Haven’t you heard the idiom, actions speak louder than words?
Wait for them at the door: When its time for them to get back home, I make sure I’m at the door to greet them. So as soon as I hear the lift door, I rush to the door and open it even before they can ring the bell.
Ask them how their day was: This is the first question I ask when they get back from home. 9 out of 10 times, they spill out all their stories. This way you’ll know if they’ve had a good or bad day and shows that you are interested in them and their school activities.
Kiss them good night: No matter how tired you are, no matter if you’ve had a rough day, always make it a point to tuck them into bed with a good night kiss. It is greatly reassuring and a unique bonding experience.
Share a joke: Share your joys with your children. It shows that they are in your thoughts always. With technology at your finger tips, all you have to do is forward a funny that will cheer them up or tickle their funny bones.
Make up your own nonsensical song: I do this ALWAYS! Even though my daughters are in their teens, I make up silly, goofy, meaningless songs and sing it to them . It doesn’t matter if it is garble, they’ll still enjoy it.