Playing like a child
Don’t be afraid of ridicule or to get dirty, build tree houses without looking at your watch, build blanket forts without thinking about cleaning up, draw even if you have no talent and play ball without thinking that you are an adult for a while. This is the best way to build memories and a fantastic way to say, “I love you”!
Treat your child like a grown-up
You do not ALWAYS have to teach them something and put them back on the right track. Talking to them about their day and remembering that their concerns are real, their adventures are important and knowing that they are a person, not just pieces of you and their father, will make them feel important and loved.
Surprise them for no particular reason
It is not their birthday or Halloween or Christmas but you want a special day today. Feel free to make it so! Celebrate an unbirthday, a doll’s birthday or blow up some balloons to celebrate their grades during a brunch. Either way, just a few balloons or a bowl of popcorn are enough to turn an ordinary day into something better and to remind your children how special they are.
Go on an adventure
You don’t need to pay a penny to visit a new part of town, to walk on country roads or in the forest. On top of discovering new things, you will talk about something you don’t know with your child and they will enjoy talking as equals.
When your child wants to tell you a looooooooong story full of details and punctuated with hesitations, if you are not working, take some time to listen. Being interested in what they have to share is a bit like accepting a gift.
When I was young, my father used to walk to me by the sea for hours and these moments of calm and silence marked my childhood. These quiet moments made even more sense when I heard from a friend that when you truly love someone, you never need words. From then on, I realized how much my father and I love each other.
Playing in the rain and in the snow
Brave the storm once in a while to spend some time with your child and give them more attention than usual. From snowballs to puddles, you will play together, breathing the fresh air that does not smell the same in bad weather…
Talk about you
Saying “when I was young” and “when I was pregnant with you…” and talking about all your crazy ideas show that you want your child to know you well. It shows a lot of trust and affection. A good starting point is to look at family pictures together.
Keep holding them
A child is never too old to be held in your arms and even if they don't feel like it sometimes, deep down, they are glad to know that their mom still likes to hug them after all these years…
Say “I love you” a lot
Saying “I love you” is important because it is kind, selfless, it confirms that we are there for them and it brightens an otherwise sad day.