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As parents, we often worry about making sure that we do all of the things: we enlist them in extracurriculars, we make sure they eat the best food, and we try to ensure they get the best education possible. However, the most important thing we should be doing, the one thing that stands above the rest is giving our kids positive attention.

Your children crave your presence, even if they fight you at times. Remember, kids are still developing, so their emotions can be a little bit chaotic. That is why it is so important to give them the right attention, so they can grow and develop into healthy and happy little humans. Here are 10 simple ways to give your child positive attention.

1. Smile at them.

From the time a child is born, they begin to study their caregiver’s face. They do this, to understand how you feel about them. When you smile or coo or give them kind remarks, they know they can be at peace and feel secure. Just because they grow into toddlers or even teenagers does not mean that their smile loses impact. So, strive to smile at them often.

2. Let them lead for the day.

As parents, we take the reigns 100% of the time. So, every once in a while, let them be the leader and let them direct your day.

3. Always recognize the right behavior.

When you notice your child behaving in the right way, recognize it and praise them. Praise them when they are being kind or empathetic. Praise them when they do something for someone else. Praise them when they ace their math test. Praise is what shows them that they are on the right path.

4. Invite them to do something that you normally do by yourself.

Do you normally run certain errands by yourself? Next time, bring your child alone. For example, if you tend to go get a pedicure once a month, the next time you go, bring your little one and let them get one too!

5. Always listen when they are talking to you.

When your child is trying to get your attention through talking, stop what you are doing and listen. I don’t mean listen halfway while you scroll through social media. I mean, give them your undivided attention.

6. Ask them about their interests.

Your children will begin to develop interests of their own from an early age. Show an interest in their interests by asking them about them.

7. Leave them notes.

One simple way to show your child they are loved is by leaving notes for them. When I was little my mom used to write things like “I love you” on the mirror in lipstick and it always made me feel so loved. It’s the simple things, you know?

8. Make eye contact as often as possible.

When you make eye contact with your child, you are showing them they have your undivided attention. Regardless of whether it’s during the conversation or just a quick glance, this is important because you are showing them that you notice them.

9. Give them lots of affection.

Randomly hold your child’s hand or rub their shoulder. This is such an easy way to remind them that they are loved.

10. Read them an extra bedtime story.

Most kids love story time, but because of life, sometimes, we have to rush these things. Remember to slow down sometimes, add a bonus book or two and really enjoy the time you share with your little one.