100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child

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When I wrote this list of 100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child I was in one of those exhausting phases of parenting where days were going by in a blur and I often went to bed feeling defeated and guilty.  Thus, these ways to be kind are not complex or fancy; they are basically a reminder to myself of the simple ways I can connect with and be there for my children.  Many of them will remind you of ways you already are showing your love to your kids.
Thank you for spreading kindness for our children.

100 Ways to Be Kind To Your Child

100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child


Tell your child:

1. I love you.
2. I love you no matter what.
3. I love you even when you are angry at me.
4. I love you even when I am angry with you.
5. I love you when you are far way.  My love for you can reach you wherever you are.
6. If I could pick any 4 year old (5 year old, 6 year old…) in the whole wide world, I’d pick you.
7. I love you to the moon and then around the stars and back again.
8. Thank you.
9. I enjoyed playing with you today.
10. My favorite part of the day was when I was with you and we _______.

11. The story of their birth or adoption.
12. About how you cuddled them when they were a baby.
13. The story of their name.
14. A story about yourself when you were their age.
15. The story of how their grandparents met.
16. What your favorite color is.
17. That sometimes you struggle too.
18. That when you’re holding hands and you give three squeezes, it’s a secret code that means, “I love you”.
19. What the plan is.
20. What you’re doing right now.

21. Charades
22. Hop Scotch
23. Board Games
24. Hide & Seek
25. Simon Says
26. Twenty Questions
27. I Spy on long car rides
28. Catch

29. To catch their kiss and put it on your cheek.
30. That their tickle tank is empty and you have to fill it.
31. That their high five is so powerful it nearly knocks you over.
32. That you are super ticklish.
33. That you are explorers in the amazing world of your own backyard.
34. That it’s party day!

35. To get enough sleep.
36. To drink enough water.
37. To eat decent food.
38. Dressing in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
39. Calling a friend the next time you feel like you are about to lose it with the kids.
40. Giving a gentle touch to show approval.
41. Dancing in the kitchen.
42. To get your kids to bop to the music with you in the car.
43. Showing your kids that you can do a somersault or handstand or a cartwheel.
44. Keeping the sigh to yourself.
45. Using a kind voice, even if you have to fake it.

46. A book of silly poems.
47. A story and then act out the plot.
48. Your favorite childhood book to them.
49. When the afternoon is starting to go astray.
50. Outside under a tree.
51. In the library kids corner.
52. The comic book they love that you’re not so hot on.
53. About age appropriate behavior so you can keep your expectations realistic.

54. To your child in the car.
55. To silly songs together.
56. For that question that means your child really needs your input.
57. One second longer than you think you have patience for.
58. For the feelings behind your child’s words.

59. Why do you think that happens?
60. What do you think would happen if______?
61. How shall we find out?
62. What are you thinking about?
63. What was your favorite part of the day?
64. What do you think this tastes like?

65. Your child how to do something instead of banning them from it.
66. How to whistle with a blade of grass.
67. How to shuffle cards- make a bridge if you can!
68. How to cut food.
69. How to fold laundry.
70. How to look up information when you don’t know the answer.
71. Affection to your spouse.
72. That taking care of yourself is important.

Take Time:
73. To watch construction sites.
74. To look at the birds.
75. To let your child pour ingredients into the bowl.
76. To walk places together.
77. To dig in the dirt together.
78. To do a task at your child’s pace.
79. To just sit with your child while they play.

80. That your child is capable.
81. That you are the right parent for your child.
82. That you are enough.
83. That you can do what is right for your family.

84. Clean your child’s room as a surprise.
85. Put chocolate chips in the pancakes.
86. Put a love note in their lunch.
87. Make their snack into a smiley face shape.
88. Make sound effects while you help them do something.
89. Sit on the floor with them to play.

Let Go:
90. Of the guilt.
91. Of how you thought it was going to be.
92. Of your need to be right.

93. A kind look.
94. A smile when your child walks into the room.
95. A kind touch back when your child touches you.
96. The chance to connect before you correct so that your child can actually hear your words.
97. Your child a chance to work out their frustrations before helping them.
98. A bath when the day feels long.
99. A hug.
100. You get to choose the next one!  What is your favorite way to be kind to your child?

In case you’d like a visual reminder of this list…

There is now a beautiful print available for 100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child!

Get yours in my Etsy shop here!


100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child was written in February 2012 as a participating blogger for Toddler Approved’s 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge.  I spent a month knowing I would be writing about how to be kind to your children.  It’s not that I don’t want to be kind to my kids all the time, but honestly, it made a real difference to be thinking about this list.

When I consciously decided to find ways to be kind to my kids I found I was catching myself more often before I sighed impatiently.  I started finding more times to make kind eye contact, or smile.  These are just little shifts, but they add up.

If you are new here you might like to sign up for my Joyful Parenting newsletter to get more simple ideas about how to nurture connection with kids.  Thanks for stopping by!


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  1. Cweaver1209 says

    I’d say we are all guilty of not putting our phones down and looking our Cullen in the eye every. Single. Time. They really need or attention.

  2. Ellie49 says

    This is wonderful but I disagree with the implied approval of tickling. Tickling can actually be very sadistic. Just because the person is laughing doesn’t mean he or she is enjoying it.

  3. SherrySiedenburg says

    That would be the appropriate time to teach that the words “no” & “stop” are to be honored.

  4. Alissa Marquess says

    SherrySiedenburg Yes, exactly. In the short sentence written above I don’t go into the intricacy of touch relationship, but I strongly agree that it is critical to teach that stop means stop no matter who is saying it, and to show that parents will stop. Our kids ask for their tickle tank to be filled when they’re in the right mood, but it isn’t assumed that it’s just ok to grab them.

  5. Gayle says

    I would love to include this blog post in our newsletter to families at our church.  Would it be possible to get your permission to reprint?  If so, how would you like for us to acknowledge your website, blog post, authorship, etc?  Thank you

  6. JamesHarvon says

    I love that this list was made. There are so many excellent ways and tips to take care of children. My favorite list item is teaching a child how to whistle with a blade of glass. It’ is so much fun!  http://www.akarrasel.com/

  7. Liz says

    I have this saved on my home screen and read it every single day. We have tickle tank fill ups daily thanks to you. I find a new idea to try daily because of you. I just had to take a second to say thank you for this! U0001f499U0001f499U0001f499

  8. ChantelleMarie818 says

    Could some clever person turn this into a simple app? I’m thinking a checklist for each category? I know it’s kind of lame, but it’s much more practical than carrying around a poster or a piece of paper to remind one of the little things we may forget.

  9. HannahWaters says

    @Laura “Relax! Or your kids will die of cancer!”  Good one Laura – that ought to do the trick nicely.

  10. krizarm1 says

    Love this, sharing on Great Parenting Show facebook page. We all need a reminder sometimes

  11. jasonshwartz1224 says

    I love the idea of being able to pretend with my kids. There is something about someone being able to have that kind of personality that really can make a child’s imagination grow. These tips really are great for those who are looking to start their own child care business as well. Thank you for sharing. http://www.sunrisemontessori.net/contact.html

  12. CaseyJones1 says

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips to help your children know how much you love them.  Parenting can be hard work sometimes!  I will print this list out and try and do something from each category every day.  I love how you broke them down into categories like “play, trust and give.”

  13. Early Endeavors says

    No matter what the circumstances we can always be kind. – one of my favorite mama mottos!

  14. Summerbreeze says

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together and for sharing so many valuable insights!

    You are an inspiration of kindness and empathy towards our children and others.

    At the end of busy days, weeks, months..years ( quote: the days are long, the years are short), what really matters is how we connected with our children, how we let them feel loved the way they are with their smiles and with their frowns.

    Thank you :-)

  15. Emily Mason says

    Spend extra money on memory-making activities and vacations rather than more “stuff”.

  16. Dani says

    I loved this! Thank you!

    Just another addition :
    I have put a sweet note under their pillow at times for them to wake up to…. It’s like a morning surprise after they make their bed :)

  17. Julie says

    I absolutely love this poster. I have the older version. The day I got it in the mail, I hung it up on the inside of my bathroom door. Like most moms, my bathroom is my fantasy island. My fantasy island seat directly faces the door, so it is a great reminder to read a few ideas when I need it most. Thank you Alissa!

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