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30 Ways to Show Kids You Care

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As children grow and develop, support and positivity in their daily lives mean a lot to them. It is important for parents, caretakers, neighbors, coaches and other adults to show children that they care. When a community invests in children’s mental, emotional and physical well-being, they are raised to be happy and healthy.

 “Children thrive when they hear encouraging words,” says The Kempe Foundation President & COO Julia Stone. “Meaningful phrases like ‘I’m proud of who you are,’ ‘You are intelligent and kind,’ and ‘You can do this’ give children a sense of capability and self-worth.”

 Communities can also support children by spending time with them, even if it’s just a few minutes.

 “Many studies have shown that quality time is more beneficial for children than quantity,” says Stone. “Even if you only have 15 minutes, there are lots of ways to make the time you do have impactful. You can read a book together, make arts and crafts, play outside or just sit and have a conversation about life. Children feel valued when asked their day and how they’re feeling.”

 Research also shows that affection and genuine displays of unconditional love make children happier and healthier. Children who have experienced affection and nurturing from a young age have shown more frequent levels of enhanced brain development throughout life’s growth stages. Simple ways to express positive emotions to children can include hugs, meaningful eye-contact, and words of admiration.

 Encouraging words, quality time and affection make a world of difference for children.

 This April, as organizations across the country recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month, Kempe encourages communities to join it in raising happy healthy children. 

Dedicating time each day to show that you care is the best way to raise happy healthy children. Hang this list on your refrigerator as inspiration. Each day, choose one of these activities to do with a child: 

  1. Color with your child
  2. Give a hug just because
  3. Build a blanket fort together and hang out inside
  4. Say “I love you” at breakfast, lunch and dinner
  5. Take a walk together
  6. Let your child choose a game and play it with them
  7. Catch your child doing something right and celebrate them with verbal praise
  8. Plan a meal and cook it together
  9. Read a book together
  10. Tell your child a happy story from your childhood
  11. Do a craft together, and don’t worry about cleaning up the mess until the end
  12. Pack a picnic and go to the park together
  13. Take your child on a nature walk and play “I spy”
  14. Put your phone and electronic devices in “time out” for one hour
  15. Send your child a special card to open in the mail
  16. Let your child pick out a picture of him or herself to put in a frame in your house
  17. Ask your child where they would like to go and take them there
  18. Pack a love note in your child’s lunch
  19. Stop everything for 20 minutes and do only what your child wants to do
  20. Do a household chore together
  21. Create a scavenger hunt for your child and a friend around your neighborhood
  22. Do something kind for a neighbor together – like rake a lawn or bring them cookies
  23. Go to the museum together
  24. Take your child to the grocery store and work together to pick out the ingredients for a healthy meal
  25. Color the driveway with chalk together
  26. Play dress up together
  27. Tell your child specifically what is unique or special about them
  28. Offer a word of encouragement when your child tries something difficult
  29. Finger paint together
  30. Make funny faces together and laugh

 Discover more ways to show children you care about them at www.Kempe.org.

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