Bull 's Eye – Focus your efforts to love your child better!

On a Saturday, (were you expecting to sleep in?) the help calls at 6 AM to intimate a leave of absence – for the whole fortnight. Gulp! Mr. Spouse is at work and will be back home -late. The house is a complete mess; you have guests coming for dinner and the cartoons next door decided to have an ear splitting conversation with God at dawn!

You are down with a cold. And don’t even get me started on the dishes yet!

So, while you sit on the couch with a cup of tea and contemplate on how you will get through the day, you feel a presence. (Relax; it’s not God/superman/ Rani Didi)

It’s your 7 year old daughter, silently observing you from a distance. She knows.

Tick what would be most likely. Your options are given below.

1.     Physical Touch: She climbs on your lap, caresses your hair and kisses you.
2.     Words of affirmation: She comes close and whispers – Ma, I love you. It will be okay.
3.     Quality time: She strings around all day, participating in your chores- no matter how boring.
4.     Acts of service: Of her own accord, she starts picking up her toys from the drawing room.
5.     Gifts: She makes a sandwich for you (how adorable could that be!)

I know my daughter. She would be hungry:)

Done? Good. Now, that you can have reconnected to how your child gives love, you can make out how you can love the child back-HIS way.

Find below- Creative ideas to fill up their love meter.

1. Physical Touch

“Love is when Papa kneels down to pat my back and Ma massages my aching legs while we snuggle in bed. 
I know my science teacher loves me , because although she gets mad when I chit chat, she gives me a hug, especially after a talking –to!
After school, I come home to a tickle fight with Dadu! Oh, how I love him!

  1. Hugs, Kisses and Hugh Fives
  2. Action songs
  3. Touch oriented gifts
  4. Holding /cuddling soft items
  5. Reading with the child on the lap
  6. Rubbing muscles/Back rubs
  7. Tossing in air/Spinning
  8. Wrestling on the floor / Jostling
  9. Riding piggyback
  10. Basket ball/Foot ball

2. Words of affirmation

“Today the bus bhaiya said “Hey buddy, you are a hero. We all saw how you defended your sister against the school bullies. Salute you!” 

Last weekend, Papa said, “Please forgive me for shouting at you.”

And yesterday, the football coach said “Great. That was close; you almost nailed it!

  1. Constructive praise
  2. Encouragement jar
  3. Holding close to say- I love you
  4. Words of affirmation Notebook
  5. Post it notes in lunch box
  6. Text message of love for the child when you are away
  7. A call to say I love you
  8. The child’s drawings & a note of what it means to you.
  9. Special nickname used by the parents for the child
  10. Writing the name of the world’s sweetest child on the frosted windows of the car.

3. Quality time

“Every night, Dad builds a tent for me in bed and we both play- the bear game! 

During summers, my sister and I have a blast in the toddler pool! 

Last weekend, we had the best time ever when the whole family went out for a picnic. We cut and ate fruits, sang songs at the top of our voices and played tug of war. Daddy ‘s team won!”

  1. Undivided attention and Positive eye contact
  2. Mealtimes- a long drawn out affair
  3. Bedtime routines- stories/talking/praying
  4. Overnight trips/walks/bike rides
  5. Single use cameras
  6. Playing at toy store; Pushing swings/Playing cricket
  7. Visit to your workplace
  8. Family dinners/prayers
  9. Vacation planning with your children
  10. Planting trees/Landscaping garden
  11. Creating and storing photo albums on your computer

4. Gifts 

“Dad is so cool. For my birthday, he made me a necklace from the sea shells we picked up from the beach! 

Mom always puts a surprise in my lunch box-be it almonds or walnuts! I can hardly wait for the lunch time! 

My best friend gave me a cap with my name on it – it‘s been three years but I still find it special.

Dadi got me a surprise and hid it in my room – it was my new uniform!“

1.Small collection/gift bag of inexpensive gifts/items
2.Small collection of gift boxes and wrapping paper
3.Mail a package especially when you are away
4.Package for each day that you are out with a gift/note
5.Song- made up/brings back memories
6.Treasure hunt
7.Nature gifts wrapped in special paper/box
8.Chart and fun stickers to track achievement
9.Create a secret drawer to keep treasures.

5. Acts of service

“For me, it feels great when Ma invites my friends over for a playdate!

Dadi always always reaches the bus stop on time.

Dadu helps me learn to ride a bicycle and Mom helps me with my homework!

I like it when Mama helps Papa pack for a business trip and when Papa agrees to make breakfast on Sunday!”

  1. Family hospitality- Socialising with friends and family
  2. Involvement with nearby NGO
  3. Birthday dinner tradition
  4. Rotation of child’s favourite things
  5. Audio records/ Flash cards/Quizzes
  6. Special surprise breakfast
  7. Sickness: setting up a movie/ buying a book
  8. Help children practice for their sports team
  9. Help your child fix a favourite broken toy

This list is not exclusive which means that I have a sweetheart at home that loves playing doctor- doctor and doesn’t think twice before examining my molars as well as packing up the remotes for daddy dearest as a gift of pure love.

So, now you know. Say, you have an hour with your children-what will it be? A camp-out in the drawing room or a story telling session? If your child is tired after dance practice, would you wipe the child’s face with a cool cloth or offer to get their school bag in order for the next day? If an important exam is coming up, would you use words of encouragement written in chalk on her blackboard or would you read with her while she prepares for the same?

I would do all. Point is, what does she need?



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