100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child

100 ways to be kind header

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 _______.

Share:
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.

Play:
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

Pretend:
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!

Try:
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.

Read:
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.

Listen:
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.

Ask:
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?

Show:
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.

Trust:
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.

Delight:
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.

Give:
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!

100ways-final-outlines-003

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.

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446 Comments

  1. says

    Make a special meal or treat together… and let them lick the bowl. :) That’s my son’s favorite thing we did together this morning.

    Thanks for this post. This list is amazing. I am pinning it to look back on often. I really appreciate you participating in our 100 Acts of Kindness challenge!

  2. Deb Ingrassia says

    I love your 100 list. It made me think of one thing that I have always done with my kids. At some point in preschool years, my son would wipe my kisses from his cheer or forehead. I would smile really big and say to him that it’s too late, my kiss already went to your hear and point at his chest. Before, too long he’d say I know Mommy – your kisses are in my heart. It’s a sweet moment for me.

  3. says

    I love telling my daughters, usually at bedtime, that every single day, since the day they were born, they have made me smile. No matter how challenging the day might have been…at one point or another they made me smile…every single day. I love how true those words are. It helps me and my girls keep things in perspective.
    This is a beautiful and simple list…thanks!

  4. says

    This is very nice, Alissa- Very nice, indeed. I found some new ones I hadn’t considered….we’re gonna refill the tickle tank tonight. :) Thanks!

  5. says

    What a wonderful post, Alissa! I’m going to try and do more of these kind things for me and my entire family.

  6. sherri says

    Thanks so much for posting a PRINTABLE! My kiddos are 2 & 3 and I do NOT have time to read a lengthy parenting book, but LOVED this post. We use many of these, but Mommy’s always need reminders & love having some new ideas too. Thank you!

  7. Emilie Vangilder says

    My youngest just turned in, but this still made me cry. Advice is timeless…for children of all ages.

  8. says

    A beautiful list! I love it. My one to add would be to enthusiastically greet them, when you first see them (ie picking them up from school, kindy etc). Give them a big smile, a kiss and a hug and ask how their day was, before you worry about gathering up stuff or getting them in the car.

  9. Zephan says

    Thank you so much for this list! I often feel like an inadequate parent, or that I am not as “good” as I should be. I get cranky far too often! But as I read over this list, I kept nodding, thinking “I do that! I do that too!” So many of the things on this list are things we do on a regular basis. We play the “I love you game”, where we take turns saying how much we love each other (to the moon and back, as high as a mountain, as deep as the ocean, as bright as the sun etc etc etc), until we run out of things to say!
    From one exhausted, tired, stressed mummy, thank you for encouraging me, and reminding me that despite my downfallings, I am a pretty awesome mum!

  10. Zephan says

    And as for our 100?

    Paint or colour in (with textas) on your bodies! It washes off, but gives them so much joy, especially if you join in!

  11. says

    This is so beautiful. My daughter is older, so I’d add one that might not work so well with young children: give them space. Emotional and physical space. Let them leave you without keeping a hook of guilt in their heart. Thank you for this wonderful list.

  12. carmen says

    i tell my kids, even after i get mad at them, that i love them no matter what,cause the question i ask myself most of the time is.. will it matter five years or five minutes from now?

  13. Beatrice says

    At the end of the day, when kissing her goodnight, I always say thanks to my daughter..thank you for the time together, thank you to be you…and in the morning we pull up the blinds and shout “Good morning [name of the city where we are]!”…is 20 days I’m far from her and miss this sooo much.

  14. Andrea says

    My daughter is in 3rd grade, 8 years old, and gets a ton of homework. Sometimes she says, “I just want a few minutes to play.” One day, when she said that, I stopped myself in a rush to make dinner, and said, “Would you like to go on a bike ride?” Her eyes lit up! “Yes, mommy! I would LOVE that! Thank you so much!” We took a nice leisurely bike ride until the sun went down. I wrote a note to her teacher the next day, explaining that my daughter would make up her homework. She is a good student, so I didn’t worry. Sometimes, life is just more important at that age. :)

  15. Christine says

    Climb in with them – wherever they are: a box made into a castle, a blanket over chairs, the tiny space under the climbing frame, a little toy tent or teepee made from sticks/leaves. They love it when Mummy squishes into their space to play :)

  16. Sara says

    I know my children feel loved and special when I lay down with them at night and sing lullabies until they fall asleep. Something I don’t always do so when I do do it is special.
    What a great post! Thank you for reminding us not just to love our children, but to be KIND to them as well.

  17. Angie says

    My son is older but I still light up and give him a big smile when he comes home from school or work and always tell him to have a great day and that I love him when he leaves. He is my heart and my soul and I couldn’t ask for a better son! We did many of the things on this list and I believe they made a huge difference in the young man he has turned out to be. Thank you for the list!

  18. says

    This list is AWESOME! I love how you organized it into sections and how you made a printable version. These are what I call 100 ways to be “Hands Free” with your kids! I will be sharing it on “The Hands Free Revolution” this week! Thank you for inspiring us all to connect to our precious ones.

  19. says

    Thank you so much for the lovely (and timed perfect for me) post, some really helpful suggestions, and so cute. The first 5 reminded me of a book we got recently “Mama Do You Love ME? ” by Barbara M. Joosse. All about unconditional love for your child.

    -I love you.
    -I love you now matter what.
    -I love you even when you are angry at me.
    -I love you even when I am angry with you.
    -I love you when you are far way. My love for you can reach you wherever you are.

    -I love you to the moon and then around the stars and back again. This reminds me of the lovely story “Guess how much I love you”, we always say the line from that- “I love you to the moon and back”. My little man loves to say the “and back” part.

    As I said the timing was perfect for me on this, I have been thinking all about connection and bonding with my Little Man, as he seams to be weaning off the breast. If interested here is a link to my post, where I discuss your super list (http://www.being-a-mama.blogspot.com/2012/02/connecting-with-your-babas-i-found-this.html).

    I’ve made a few additional suggestions on my post, including:

    -Ask them what they want to be when they grow up- and act it out.
    Being-a-Mama

  20. says

    What a wonderful list, Alissa! I love how looking at this list we can clearly see all the ways we do show kindness to our kids, without even realizing it perhaps. And great reminders for the things we don’t do often enough.

  21. Suzanna says

    I pretend I can’t do something and that I really need their help! Like reaching something off the shelf (a low shelf) or putting the stamp on the envelope and then I thank them from the bottom of my heart for showing me or teaching ME something. It makes them feel really special.

  22. says

    One thing I try to do as often as possible when I feel like yelling, “That was mean!” is to say in a kind voice, “You are a kind person. Kind people don’t hit.” (for example). So, to add to your list, I’d write, “Tell him he is kind.”

    Cheers!

  23. Heather says

    “I love you even when I’m angry with you”
    I recently yelled at my son and when we hugged after we talked, I was telling him ‘I love you’. He seemed distant still and I asked him, “Do you know I love you still when I yelled at you?” He told me ‘no’! Totally shocked me and I now make sure my kids know I love them at all times.

  24. says

    These comments are so wonderful. Thank you so much for your suggestions I just love reading them. I cant wait to see what other suggestions people write.

  25. says

    Thank you, this is so helpful. I have one or two to add. I tell my children thank you for being in my life and before we leave each other, we “hug and kiss”… it’s become a tradition… my ten year old still appreciates it, 7 yo loves it, my 4 yo won’t leave without it.

  26. Zeeee says

    1) teach them to be thankful and appreciative
    2) let them be creative, curious and inquisitive
    3) help them acquire appreciation and taste of healthy wholesome food
    4) devslop your interest in what they are interested
    5) teach them to be kind and helpful to others
    6) teach them to pickup after themselves
    7) to not lose your cool with them
    8) to not have any gender bias when dealing with them
    9) be kind to their father/mother, grandparents
    10) help them be the best they want to be rather than what you want from them

  27. says

    I LOVE THIS! I shared this on our facebook community and went and put some of these into practice straight away- it was a real reminder for me as a mum of 3 to slow down and enjoy my children- thank you :)

  28. says

    What a beautiful list. There are so many special things there. Our favourite things are snuggling together at bed time, and pretend/imaginary play.

  29. Jennifer VanHorn says

    My favorite way is to sing them a lullaby at night and always the just one more please and sometimes two or three more :)

  30. says

    I really needed this, thank you! My contribution: my daughter loves it when I use a “puppet” voice. I just say things in a cartoonish voice and she feels like we are playing a game.

  31. Dory says

    Listen to your children in the car! There were no cell phones when my kids were little. So riding in the car was a great time to talk about anything and everything. I feel sorry for the Mom’s on their cell phones with the kids in the car. They are missing out on such a great time to visit! And the ride would be alot safer if the phone was OFF! Love your blog Alissa! Love you!

  32. K says

    I stumbled on this on a very long, emotional day. It’s perfect. It’s printed. Thank you.

  33. Kris says

    That was lovely, thanks. One more for us: after my almost two-year-old twins get out of the bath, I always ask to check and see if they’re “squeaky clean.” They hold very still, I rub my finger gently on a cheek and say, “Squeak, squeak! You ARE squeaky clean! Well done!” They giggle and grin and then happily go get dressed.

    The up side to this is the other day I got out of the shower and my son looked at me and said, “Mommy skeekee keen?” Then he ran over to me, gently rubbed his finger on my cheek, and said, “Skeeek! Skeek!” and grinned like a madman. It was a beautiful moment.

  34. says

    So wonderful. I’m going to pass this on to all my clients. I work as a therapist with children and I find it’s also so important to work with their parents too. I see my young clients craving time and attention from their parents. I have devised a simple exercise that they can do together at bedtime. This special time is crucial to their emotional development. Your wonderful list is going to help my parents so much – thank you!
    Heather x

  35. Lisa says

    Beautiful. I was recently thinking about my parenting and what I felt was really important to teach my kids and the one thing I came up with was kind. I want my kids to be kind to themselves, kind to others, and kind to the environment and the best way to teach kindness is to be kind. The one I would add to this list is follow where your children lead – physically, when they take your hand, follow them, but also follow where their interest take them.

  36. says

    What a wonderful post :)
    I would be kind by giving them an uninterrupted block of time everyday for exploration or doing whatever they most like to do.

  37. says

    Alissa,
    These words are pure joy and love. I LOVED reading it again. I’d read it earlier from the PDF file when your site had gone down. Shared it on my Facebook page and with friends and family!

    I tell my daughter her soul and mine are connected. I feel what she feels and I understand her completely. She understands the genuineness of these words and often tells me too.

  38. sunita says

    just wanna say thannx so many things i already do n felt misrable n guilty at times yes i thought that iws wrong 4 him but now i know to be a mother the most imp thing is PATIENCE n after reading this i know i will a gud mother thanks again i always wanted to share this with sum 1 but never got the answers i lov wish me luck
    e him a lot but i dont want him to be a spoilt baby i ‘ll try that my love 4 himis constructive

  39. says

    What beautiful words! I am printing the list out and will put it up on my classroom wall. You are so right, we all want to be kind to our children, but sometimes that is difficult . . . particularly when it is a rainy day and we are all stuck inside. As a teacher, I can’t do all of them, but I can remind parents of the importance of being kind.
    Thank you!

  40. Sheetal Kiran says

    This is really a nice thing………….which is very important between u and your kid……….Thanks a lot

  41. Laura says

    LOVE all of these. My suggestion? Sing: sing with them, sing to them. Sing them a lullaby and replace one of the words with their name, eg “You Are My Sunshine”.

  42. Melody says

    Thank you for this wonderful post. Here’s a couple I extras I did this week and am very glad I did as my perfect 10 yr old is quite sick today.
    Double the pocket money to acknowledge all the extra stuff she does (mostly) cheerfully when asked.
    Did her morning chores so she could have an extra 10 minutes sleep in

  43. Christi says

    I love lists! This one is going up where I can see it! One more to add… “Turn off” the tv, video games, phones, and computers!

  44. margy glazier says

    I am a grandma and very blessed to be one. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to grandpa about our Grace when she thinks we don’t know that she is listning. Say things like how proud we are of her and how much we love her. Or something like she is the best grandaughter in the world and we are so lucky. They will remember this, I know because my grandparents did this for me.

  45. Eakitch says

    Be spontaneous! Stop at the park. Go out for ice-cream after everyone is in their PJ’s. Say yes to random requests you would usually say no or maybe to. My son was shocked last month when I picked him up after school and drove straight to the Boardwalk for a few rides before going home to do homework. It was so fun to see his smile and hear him tell daddy all about it that night!

  46. Lola says

    I love this list!! I’d add:
    100. make art with your child, anything, whether a drawing, a painting, making a card, or stamping stamps on a cardboard box, anything at all.

    101. sing a song with your child, any song they like.

    102. make up a song with their name in it.

  47. Melissa says

    Shared on my facebook wall. So many parents dont have a clue whats going on in their childs life, because they dont listen, dont communicate, or too busy for them. When we make time for our kids, it makes the relationship so much better. If we want our children to respect US, we need to respect THEM. I see so many parents saying, “My kid has no respect for me!” And you find them yelling and cussing at their kid, or cutting them off and saying, “Nope! I dont wanna hear it!!” etc…etc… No wonder the child yells and cusses and disrespects the parent. Thats what he sees and hears, and is being taught himself!! Loved your article!!

  48. Misty says

    This is so beautiful. And I’m so glad that I find myself doing a majority of these things already. I don’t care if other adults think I’m silly, my 2 yr old daughter thinks I’m the coolest person around:) Her opinion of me matters more than anyones in the world. I will continue doing silly things and letting her know how much she means to me. I will never be too busy for her…ever.

  49. says

    These are great ideas! Thanks for sharing! We loved having you at our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We hope you’ll come back next Saturday and share more of your ideas! -The Sisters

  50. says

    Hi there, I was hoping I might be able to share this lovely list with my fellow foster carers through our quarterly magazine here in Queensland Australia. Of course you would be credited and I hope lots more people will visit your site because of this. Is this OK?

  51. Nikki b says

    My #100 is:
    Tell your child it’s okay to have their feelings! Make sure they know their feelings are valid even when we don’t think they should feel the way they do. Try to understand how they feel.

  52. Alex says

    What a perfect reminder to do all those oh so little, but oh so important things! My #100 is to make time for a good ‘back-writing’ session. I write words or draw pictures with my finger on his ticklish bare back and he (through hig giggles) tries to figure out what I’ve written or drawn. Sooo much fun for both of us!

  53. says

    @belle
    You are welcome to print out my 100 Ways to Be Kind to Your Child Post. I have a link at the bottom of the post. If you are wishing to share it on your own blog you may use one image plus a few sentences from my blog with a link back to the post for people to read.

    Thanks for reading!

  54. Tiffany Oglesby says

    Omg LOVE this list. To add to the list and share something I do with my kids is, we have staring contest to see who holds the stare the longest. I really have fun with doing this but even more importantly it’s teaching them honesty and trust and it has also helped me to learn how to read my children, like when they are telling the truth or not. I believe that it’s important to teach my children to always have eye contact when talking to others! This list is so valuable on fact I’m printing it today and hanging it on the refrigerator right next to the beautiful artwork that they have created!!!!! Thanks for sharing your list

  55. Shalyce says

    Thank you for making this a printable list. There are days that I really struggle, especially when the kids aren’t behaving real well. This will give me a quick list to look at to change the situation around.

  56. Meg says

    I would add a few more: Play teacher with your child; pretend that you are the kid- they love that! Go outside and observe nature together – pick flowers and press them, teach your child how to grow flowers or vegetables, feed the ducks at the pond. If you don’t know how to do something, learn together. Allow your child to teach you some things as well; they are so intuitive.

    We are all busy, but we have to take the time to play with and teach our children. Lead by example. Don’t get fustrated when things take them too long and then you do it for them. Give them time to figure things out and let them take pride in things they’ve accomplished or learned. Parenting is not easy, but with lots of love, patience and kindness we can give our children our best.

  57. says

    I love “tell them the plan” – this is HUGE! My kids love knowing what we’re going to do for the day – it let’s them know that I have a plan so they don’t take over, let’s them figure out when their playtime will be and helps them feel less anxious. GREAT list!

  58. Lisa DeBord says

    My #100 would be to give your kid a “safe place to fall.” By that I mean, don’t ever judge them, so they know you are always someone they can turn to and talk to. Now that my son is getting older and starting to make his friends more important, this open line of communication is still so important to our relationship.

  59. says

    This is such a good reminder, thank you for posting! I especially liked all of the “pretend” suggestions. I’m pinning this to look at every once in awhile for inspiration.

  60. says

    We taught our older daughter the ASL sign for ‘I love you’ (hand up, palm facing out, middle and ring fingers folded down to touch palm) when she was quite young, and used it often with her to send a “secret” message across a room. Now she’s almost 8, and we still use it all the time.

  61. Erin says

    100. Let them hear you ‘bragging’ about how wonderful they are or the wonderful things they do.

  62. Tiffany says

    My 100 – Tell them it is okay to make mistakes and MOST importantly be there for them when they do.
    I absolutely love this list!!!! Thank you!!

  63. says

    At night, I always lie with them until they are asleep. I guess that’s 1. 2 – I ask in bed, “what did we do today?”. The kids always list the fun stuff, and the interesting stuff. I think it’s cool!! Usually they are so amazed at that the fun things that happened in the last 12 hours. It’s so great. They go to bed packing away the good stuff into their minds and hearts.

    : )~Monika

  64. Elizabeth says

    I make a point of frequently telling my sons how handsome they are. I have tried to teach them the importance of personal grooming/hygiene and so I also always compliment them when I notice they made the effort to do something to take care of themselves.

  65. Kristy says

    I always tell my sons, When we are apart and you miss me, just find the moon and know I am there!

    I wanted to establish a place that would ALWAYS be there no matter what. Somewhere they could go and look up and know I was smiling back at them. It is now our place, our connection.

  66. Sharon McKinney says

    Wow! Great post/list! Thanks for the reminders & some new ways to try with my precious boys! This is exactly what I needed tonight… Thanks again!!!

  67. John says

    Made me cry, and I’m a dude.

    Sometimes it’s hard to have a little girl, relating, not fixing everything, listening, etc., thanks for the tips.

  68. Kristen says

    So inspiring, its just nice to read it and think about it.. our kids only want our love and attention, how amazing to be able to show them kindness and raise them to the same. Thank you for the article!

  69. Kay Coggins (Nanny) says

    Love all of the ideas and suggestions! I’m the Grandmother (Nanny) of 3 amazing Grands. From my experience as a mother I agree 100% with the comment by Lisa DeBorg. I know by not judging your children or grandchildren keeps the line of communication open. Teach them what pleases the Lord, discipline lovingly and they will never be afraid of coming to us with their problems or any kind of issues they will face in life. This will keep them from seeking advice or help from the wrong people or places.

  70. RoseAnne says

    100: Be open. Give your child the space to admit failure and do not judge. Just listen and thank them for telling you. I’m always inspired when my son (4) admits his “failures” out of the blue b/c I know he trusts me to listen and love him no matter what.
    101: Be creative and get Messy. Allow your child to do messy play. So much to explore and learn! Mixing up potions are my sons favorite exploration activity.

  71. says

    Hello, myself self Aarti Tyagi n i m a mother of a baby boy.This is very useful for me.I love it and follow it very sicencerly.Thankyou so much.

  72. says

    A hundred times yes to all of these. I’ve printed the list and I will keep them within eyesight as a reminder because sometimes when the day goes long or awry, it’s easy to forget.

    Thank you for this. I teared up when I saw that I did a couple of the things on here just today. Sometimes it’s nice to know too when we are doing something right.

    • JJ says

      Justine – I think that by simply clicking on this link and reading the list was doing something right… shows that you cared enough to try to improve. Good job. :)

  73. says

    Alissa, I wanted to sincerely apologize for how I handled posting your post on my blog. I did find your post very encouraging and just wanted to share it with the few distant family members who read my blog but I didn’t really think how putting the entire post on my blog would take away from the hard work that you put into writing it. I have always been careful to add links and give credit to the original writers when I share something I like from other blogs, but this will help me rethink through how I do this. Thank you again for taking the time to send this to me. I do appreciate it. (I have changed the post to reflect this and this will definitely change how I share links in the future)

    Please keep up the great work that you do on your blog. You have so many wonderful posts and I know that many are being encouraged!

  74. Jacinda says

    My daughter is still only 3 months but at 6 am when I am exhausted and she needs her bottle, I kiss her on her eyelids softly at various times during the feeding because I love her even at 6 am when I am in pain and just want to go back to sleep. :) That is my number 100.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing, youve inspired me to be kinder to my three young children in the mornings. I have a really hard time with mornings. You are doing a great job.

  75. says

    Wonderful! Fantastic! I too am printing this out and sharing. I love Pinterest for leading me to such wonderful and helpful sites like yours. Btw, read your Pinterest post too & think it’s worth sharing and a great reminder that we are not perfect and am happy to report that I am well aware of that so I view Pinterest as a fun place to visit and for finding blogs like this.

  76. Jan Kalbhen says

    Loved these ideas. Many I have some used, some I have never thought of.

  77. says

    Loved all these suggestions and have used many of them over the last 10 years I have been a mother. Showing kindness in our home has definintely helped to build strong bonds. The best thing I have seen about showing kindness to your child, is that as they grow older, they show that same kindness to you and to others – and that is a real joy to behold.

  78. says

    Fabulous post! Thank you. My 100th is have regular “Special Time” together. One time a week, make tea and serve cookies, fruit, candy. A special mini tea party in the middle of busy life is the most delicious glue I know for bonding time with my children.

    • Julia says

      I have 3 boys, and they LOVE it when I get out my china tea set that my grandma made for me when I was a little girl. We put hot water in the tea pot, cocoa mix in the sugar dish and milk in the cream pitcher. We also make mini versions of our favorite cookies — the best part of which is that one batch yields so many more cookies! It’s something I loved doing with my sisters as a little girl, and I love that I can still enjoy tea parties with my boys. Thanks for sharing your #100, Colleen. I love that you make this a weekly ritual!

  79. Patricia says

    I LOVE this and am going to challenge my friends and my coffee group to follow through for at least a week and see what happens.
    I have used many of these things with my children over the years. My daughter is 22 with a 2 yr old of her own, I have an 18 yr old son and an 8 yr old son.
    I have always made up songs and stories with their names in it, or put their names in songs we are familiar with.
    We use family names in Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. My son loves it when I use all his cousins names…he has 17 cousins lol. and we have Nana call Poppa and Poppa says ‘No more Monkeys jumping on the bed’
    I tell my youngest every night at bedtime…You are my FAVORITE Isaac James Noah Jeffrey Shepherd in the WHOLE world…to which he always replies, I am your only Isaac James Noah Jeffrey Shepherd! lol
    Also as they older and start to pull away, stay interested in their lives, really listen when they explain all about the new video game they are playing, (insert whatever your child’s passion is) offer to play with them….they will appreciate the time with you, and the fact that they can mock you for your gaming ineptitude.
    I learned to ride a Ripstik when I was 40 because that was my older son’s passion at the time, although he rolled his eyes alot and groaned to his friends about what his Mom was making him do…he was really proud of me when I finally learned how! I have also played airsoft war games with my boys( which is more fun than you might think, who knew that I had a inner Xena, although those pellets really sting)
    Volunteer with whatever activities your children are doing, whatever their ages, you really get to know the other kids they are hanging out with, the adults that are in charge of those activities will love you forever.
    My now adult daughter has told me how much she loved that I would volunteer, willingly, for anything! ( winter camping with Army cadets, need I say more) At the time she would roll her eyes and ask me if I HAD to and couldn’t someone’s elses Mom do it this time. But secretly she loved it.

    • says

      Patricia, I really love reading your comment, because as a mom of young kids, it’s SO helpful to hear from someone who has kids a little older- makes me remember that what I’m doing right now really does count. Thanks.

  80. Barbara says

    I absolutely love your list! But you know what really touched me and made me very happy? That it absolutely describes my parenting. So a shout out to all the moms with younger kids, take it to heart, especially on the hard days, the trying days, the awful days and the days you think will never, ever end. My girls are almost 12 & 14 and I have a blast with them. We have so much fun despite very busy lives. It does not matter who you are and what you believe as a parent – having a deep connection and bond to your children is the best gift in the world.

    Thank you for making my day :) ~ B.

  81. says

    Thank you for this list. I stumbled upon it through a pinterest link and then links from that link to you… does that make ANY sense? I needed this inspiration today of all days and am so glad to have found it! Thank you for putting your hard work up for public view and helping moms like me!

  82. Sarah says

    My 100: dress up like fairy princesses together and giggle about how cool you are. My four-year-daughter firmly believes she *is* a fairy princess, so she loves this :)

  83. Tanja Nelson says

    As much as I love my 14 year old twins, I miss having toddlers and younger children some days! Have you got (I’ll be happy with) 50 Ways to be Kind to your Teenager? Some of the above still work, but when they’re upset, unwell or just in a mood, it’s hard to get through to them that I’m on their side without completely caving in on whatever unreasonable or undoable thing they’re after … Also, #84 might be either taking your own life into your hands or be seen as a complete invasion of privacy, depending on the teenager 😉

  84. Stephanie says

    Thank you so much for this list. It’s exactly what I’ve been searching for & more. I’ve really been struggling with my role as a parent to my 3yr old & 4 mos old boys. I’ve been losing my mind a lot lately trying to adjust to this new life with 2 kids. I tend to think of things I want to do with my kids but I never follow through with them because something always comes up or needs to get done. I know I’ll be a better mom because of this. Thank you.

  85. Adeline says

    After a long hard day with my 4YO, this was exactly what I needed!
    Despite losing my cool a couple of times today, reading your list reminded me that I’m not all that terrible a mum. I’ve done a couple of things on the list today! :)
    It’s extremely rewarding when my girl gives me a warm look, and a little squeeze on my hand that I’m sure it means “I love you mummy”

  86. Helen says

    I love it!!!!My number 100 is making sure my son is tucked in and warm before I go to bed ank kissing him on the forehead and whispering I love you Jackson!

    • Adriana says

      Absolutely! I still tuck in my 13, 12, and 9 year olds, reading, talking, praying, and kissing them goodnight. They still expect it too. Probably will until the night before they go off to college. Bedtime is such a production…and that’s okay, it needs to be :)

  87. says

    Wonderful list! I would add: when you are about to lose it with your kids, teach them an appropriate way to cool down by giving yourself a time out. Tell them you need a time out to cool down, and that they are not to disturb you for __ minutes. Great modeling for them! (We have only positive time outs in our house, not punitive).

  88. Jenn says

    Thank you for this…I have recently been having a tough time in life and have been a bit depressed about how I wish things would turn out in a more positive direction. The truth is tho I am doing everything I can and it will over time. I REALLY needed this today, the let go part really helped me sigh relief , My son is with his dad today but I cannot wait for him to get home so I can play with his toys with him and build a room tent and just enjoy our evening and know that to him that is all that matters. This really helped me to feel a lot better, thank you…

  89. says

    This is one of the best pieces of advice on parenting that I’ve ever read. Just fantastic. I want to give this article several different titles though so that it attracts a broader audience. 100 ways to nurture your relationships with your children (too long), 100 ways to build your relationships with your kids, 100 reminders on what makes a happy family, 100 reminders on what great parents do (see #90 first), 100 ways to make your kids spirits soar (and yours too).

    So impressed with this list. Thank you.

  90. Cor says

    Thank you for the list, I will try to remember things that I was not aware of.
    I love my Chinese son very much.
    I am glad that we often give away a kiss and we sit next to each other or eating together.

  91. says

    Say, “RIGHT”, or “THAT WAS GOOD”. or just a broad smile when the child does something remarkably right. One step further, look at your child, touch your friend’s arm and say quite audibly, “DID YOU SEE THAT?” when your child made the “right move.’ I guarantee that
    your child will shine with pride. By this gentle couching your child will become a lady, or a
    gentleman and will be appreciated in their circle of friends AND DO WELL (Guaranteed.)
    This is my idea of being kind to your child. Make the effort to watch and encourage. Wim

  92. sally says

    Am I the only one who looks at this list and just feels overwhelmingly, terribly not-good-enough?

    I don’t know. Making “let go of the guilt” a bullet point and giving people 99 other things for the to-do list at the same time is a little cruel. It’s not that I disagree with the list – all of these items are wonderful – it’s just that I feel like we can’t ever do enough to meet the standard of good parenting in 2012. If this were just the list of things we had to be thinking about, it wouldn’t be so bad, but we’re also supposed to be feeding them organic natural non-processed food all the time and slathering them with sunblock every time they look outside and cloth diapering and worrying about gendering and toys and enacting gentle and positive but totally effective discipline and socializing them properly and getting them exercise and sending them to school but not too much. And do it all yourself, or co with your spouse but that’s it, because the jobs are never in the same geographic location as your family/support network. So hey it’s all on you if you’re not kind enough healthy enough smart enough thin enough accomplished enough, but really, call a friend and take some “me time!”

    • says

      I do not think it is cruel to ask people to let go of the guilt. I am sorry you’re hurting. I agree, we live in a time when we are bombarded by messages about what to do with, to and for our children. It is partly because of this overwhelm that I wrote this list. Not because I think everyone is supposed to do every single thing on it, but because I wanted to write down a backbone of what {to me} it means to be kind to my children.

      When I started thinking about being kind it helped me start looking at my children as the shining people they are RIGHT NOW. It helped me start to think about small things I could do to celebrate those people, and it helped me remember that I have a choice about my actions. Even when I am exhausted I can choose kindness- not that I always manage to do that!

      The thing is, in order to be our best selves, we really DO need to take care of ourselves. Yes, it is on you to take care of you. The great thing and the difficult thing is that means you get to make the choices in your life. If come across a suggestion that doesn’t fit in your life, or if you try something, but find it takes too much time or you just hate it; ditch it so you can concentrate on something else- make that choice. It is not easy, but I think it is empowering.

    • Katherine says

      I think it’s encouraging to be told to “let go of guilt.” You’re right about the pressures that moms face. Many blogs can make you feel like you’re killing your kid if you feed them chips, but on a busy day, an overly worked and stressed mom should feel the freedom to run through a drive-through and not feel guilty. A mom should be able to come home after a day at the park and say, “0h crap I forgot the sunscreen” when they notice their kid’s pink cheeks and shoulders and not feel like they just single handedly gave their child skin cancer. And every mom should be able to step back from a situation and be able to say, “Well, I’m not supermom- I’m just human.” And move on to the next thing.

      And I know what you’re saying about not having a support group near-by. I’m a military wife and feel so isolated all the time. I have to do literally everything on my own and many times my frustration/feelings of unfairness/or tiredness comes out as anger, bitterness, and resentment. But knowing that you don’t have to be a supermom can allow you to make decisions (like sticking your toddler in front of the tv so you can read a book for an hour ) and not feel guilty about it. You’re a great mom and love your children in a way that no one else on earth could. Will kids remember that their mom didn’t feed them organic food? No. Will kids remember that one time when mom wouldn’t take them to the park? Not for long. But kids will remember that they grew up in a house of love and openness and acceptance- that’s the whole point of being a mom. You create a place where your kids feel safe from the outside world, that’s something that no one else can give them (even when they’re all grown up).

      • says

        Katherine, thank you for your eloquent words. Every day I’ve got to remind myself not to beat myself up and to be gentle on myself and keep learning new tools to parent my kids. Thanks again. ~AM

  93. Laurie says

    Thank you for this list!! And especially for the printable version. It’s going on my fridge! :)

  94. says

    I just wanted to say thank you for number 11. I adopted both of my children and so often it is not brought up on sites like this. Just you mentioning it made my heart swell. I’m seriously so impressed and appreciative! This is such a great list and I can’t wait to do all 100 with my 2 year old daughter tomorrow and over the years with my 6 month old son.

  95. Julia says

    Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve seen many great lists of things to do for/with your children, how to be a better parent, family activities for the seasons, and more. Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming to process all the info, but I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the list you’ve put together for it’s mix of general and specific ideas. There were definitely some items I do on a regular basis, some that I have yet to do, and some that I just needed a little reminder to do more often. As I was about halfway through reading the list, one of my boys came in the office to show me his latest Lego guy that he’d outfitted as a fireman and agent spy. I stopped reading, turned to face him, and gave him my full attention while he explained all about it (and he is a boy of MANY words!). Seeing his little face light up while he talked was simply the best. When he left to go build more Legos, I returned to your list, and within a minute, I had reached #55. :) For anyone who read the list and found it to be too much, I would say that you don’t have to do every item on it. Make it your own. Add your own ideas, and remove the ones that aren’t as applicable to your own family. No one is grading you on this. No one is checking off what you have or have not done. Use it as a starting point. … I would also like to add that I think the ideas under “Tell them…” would make some great topics for journal entries as well. I have little notebooks for each boy that I write in from time to time (In honesty, it doesn’t happen that often, but I’ve stopped worrying about filling in all the gaps and let myself just write when I happen to have a few minutes or a funny story I want to record – even if it’s not as much as I’d like.) Thank you.

  96. says

    I sooo needed this today. Thank you for these awesome reminders. My 2 year old son has my nerves in knots and this list brought me back to reality and my role as his mommy.

  97. katrina says

    when my kids were young i had a heart shapes note pad that i wrote love notes on and left under thier pillows at night. i would leave notes in lunches. we had mother/daughter, or mother/son ditch day where it was one on one for the day. one day one of them was my favorite and i loved the other the most then turn it around the next day. to this day i write little prayers for my kids and tuck them in my bible or another special book. i’ve always told them i love them like the stars love the sky and the sand loves the sea. one day my daughter made my lunch to take to work. when i opened it i found a little note of love and encouragement.

  98. Jennifer says

    I have a 20 yr. old son and a 4 yr. old daughter. (Yes, they are 16 years apart!) It was really neat to read this list and see how many of the things I have done and some that I can do in the future! Having a grown son has really helped me to do things a little differently with my daughter. Since I have gone through every stage, I know what to expect in the future. I’d like to think I did a good job with my son. (I’m really proud of him!) Since there wasn’t any social networking when my son was little, I’m excited to have all this information I never had before! It sure is fun sharing our experiences! Thank You!

  99. says

    What a wonderful, wonderful list. I was just about to head upstairs to remind the little sweethearts (!) that they shouldn’t still be running around, giggling and chatting but should be tucked up and fast asleep. I’m still going to do that (because they should!), but I’m going to do it in a MUCH nicer way 😀

    Am also planning now on making tomorrow a ‘pretend we’re having a party today’ day and we’ll decorate and make cakes and play party games – just the five of us!

    Thank you!

  100. Simona says

    100. Blow up balloons for no special reason. It’s instant fun! Oh, and don’t forget the fun of blowing one up and letting it go instead of tying it.

    Great list. It makes me happy!

  101. Jessica says

    Great list!! I’d like to add 101. Say your sorry – and I don’t mean the kids! I have lost my temper with my daughter or yelled for something that 15 minutes later I realized wasn’t really worth yelling for. I always say I’m sorry for my actions that I feel we’re too harsh, short or even when I didn’t have the patience that I should have. I reinforce that “I’m sorry” is very valuable in any relationship and shows you care and will try harder next time. I think more parents should give their children love and say their sorry!

  102. Katherine says

    I have a 2 year old son with another boy due in just a couple weeks. Being a stay at home mom is exhausting, and it’s usually my son who has to deal with my frustrations. My 100 is: cuddling on the couch with cookies and watching whatever TV show he wants. It may not be educational, it may not be nutritious, but he enjoys it and it’s moments like those that I can show physical affection to a kid who is usually all over the place. I get most of my kisses, caresses, and lingering hugs in during this time. Physical affection is important for children, so where ever it can be snuck in is amazing (even during tv time).

  103. michelle says

    thank you. thank you. thank you. I’m almost in tears. Well, now I am. I’m a single mother and having a rough time with my five year old son and his definance. I don’t feel that I am doing any thing right. The “trust” and “let go” sections really touch base with me. The whole list is amazing giving me ideas I never thought of. At first this list made me feel worse, thinking I haven’t been doing much to show him I love him. But then I quickly realized I do show him in many of the ways listed and now have learned a few more. I means a great deal to me that you have shared this list, more than you’ll ever know. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Michelle, Those ones hit hardest for me emotionally while I was writing this as well. Letting go of guilt is always tricky, but I believe it makes way for us to grow, so it’s worthwhile.

  104. Brittany Diaz says

    I am so thankful for this amazing article! Its nice to be reassured and encouraged to be the best version of yourself, especially when you sometimes doubt your parenting skills. It helps knowing that I’m not the only mother who runs out of steam, or even just creative ideas! #90 is my favorite, it’s an empowering reminder that we are not perfect, but we can love our children regardless. #100 for me is to let my child be herself & explore her imagination as much as her little heart desires <3

  105. Ashley says

    I think th important thing to remember is to do your best as a parent and use this as a GUIDE. Its very helpful tools that you can also feed off of. Read it and get your own ideas as well. Go through the list and highlight things you look forward to doing with your child. Then go through the list again and mark through what you are NOT going to do or just isnt “you”. Lets face it. Im not decorating my house “just because”, lol. However, there are lots of good ideas hre. Just experiment with it ! Thanks .

  106. says

    It goes so fast. So mind-blowingly fast. It’s heart-wrenching. So, don’t rush. Before you know it, they’ll never ask you to tie their shoes anymore and they will be able to reach the faucet all by themselves. Don’t rush through a single day!!! Absorb each day, week, month and year.

  107. Heather H. says

    I would add celebrate 1/2 birthdays. Especially for younger children. Those 1/2s really count to them and it’s a fun thing to do a little something special on that 1/2 birthday. Especially for school aged children whose birthdays are in the summer months and they don’t get to be the “special” person at school on their birthday.

    • Lenore says

      Haha, we have decided to celebrate 1/2 birthdays too. Our babes were born 23 Dec and 23 Nov so they have an otherwise very long year between ‘drinks’.

  108. Shulamit says

    100: For parents who come home from work after kids are already home, make the first contact sweet. “Hi Honey, how was your day?” Or anything else, that is nice and lets them know we are happy to see them.

    The orders to take out the trash, do the homework, etc. will wait for ten minutes.

    Great list. Thank you for putting it together, and posting it.

  109. Kylee says

    this is great, my #100 is I always randomly say to my daughter ‘have I ever told you, you are the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen?’ with a grin she responds with ‘no mummy, you haven’t ever told me that, but have I ever told you how much I love you?’ <3

  110. Barbara says

    A great reminder. I try to do most of these things because I am an older Mom. I have to treasure every moment of every day. If I get in a bad mood, my son makes me smile. Then, I realize that the day will go so fast and he will grow up and be gone. That is what keeps me going. Life is so short, and I want to enjoy every second if possible. I will keep this blog with me at all times, so I don’t forget how much our children love the “little things”. My son held my hand today, and I thought to myself, how much longer will he hold my hand? Because I have an older son that is 30 and married, I learned how fast they start their own lives and fly away. That is what we want though. To see our children happy, healthy, and secure in their life.

  111. Stephanie says

    I love the list. It makes me smile at how lovely my son is. I can see how something like this seems breathtakingly overwhelming to parents of children with any kind of special need-when just getting their teeth brushed consumes all of the creative kindness in one’s body at thevery start of the day the rest of the sweet list seems like a glaring accusation of failure. The number of folks brought to tears by the list indicates to me the fundamental challenge and the poignancy of parenting that we all face. I just wanted to let other parents of special needs children know that the sentimental power of the kindnesses are as beautiful as they are painful.

  112. crystal says

    Thank you for this. I’ve been struggling to conect with my 5 year old whom we adopted, I have started finding myself just getting angrier nd more frustrated with her. I truly feel god has led me to this list. Thank you! Exactly what I’ve been looking for.

  113. Gene says

    I wish one of these could be given to all
    mothers & fathers as a flyer from school.

  114. says

    LOVE THIS!

    My #100: When your child does something right (or is about to do something wrong and you want to encourage them to make a better choice), find a reason to clap wildly for them. And get everyone in the room to cheer for them, too–whistle, chant their name, yell “WOO HOO! Let’s give it up for BEN!!!!” at the top of your lungs.

  115. says

    I wish you would make a list just for teenagers. Things get harder then! Many of these things don’t apply to teens. It is also harder to communicate unconditional love to a teen trying to be independent and trying to forge an independent identity.

    This list makes me miss being a mom to young children!

    • says

      Yes, my kids right now are 1.5, 4.5 and 6, when I wrote this and it’s only been a year since then, so I don’t have as much experience with teenagers. You’re right though, some of these things wouldn’t work so well. Someone else has asked me about creating a teenager list as well, I think I may have a new blog assignment to research and write…

  116. says

    This is a fabulous post! I’ve pinned your article to the Hide A Heart Parenting and Family Life board for further exposure and sharing.

  117. Missisee says

    Great list and I really like the fact you take the time to reply to so many comments :)

  118. Kate UK Mum says

    Superb list – I just shared it on facebook (including your link back to this page) and have had loads of ‘like’s and comments.
    Agree with many comments above, especially that this isn’t a test, a checklist or a guilt trip. Choosing those you like, changing them, forgetting those you can’t achieve – make it your own. So grateful to you from here in the UK (I get the impression this orginiated in the US?)
    My no. 100 – it’s copyrighted to my Mum actually – is a ‘Feedle, Fidle, Fodle, Foo and Fum’ story at bedtime. Feedle is your littlest finger, Fum is your thumb. You then introduce your child to each character and they can go on whatever adventure you want for however long you have. (Feedle must have a little squeaky voice, Fum has a deep voice and the others fill in the octave) We usually wake them up and they stretch, eat breakfast, go for a hike over the snow-capped mountains (duvet covered knees) and crash through the jungle (long hair, round ears is good) They can ask your child questions about their day, or any other crazy ideas you might have. I often get my kids to kiss each finger goodnight and they all go to sleep in my pocket. Great thing is they are always available and every night is a different adventure!

    Thanks again for your inspiring and encouraging list – be blessed! Kate

  119. MrsA says

    what an awesome list, I do many of those already; but tomorrow I will do more. I am often reminded that “if you don’t listen to the little things when they’re little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they’re big ~ to them it has always been big”
    My husband works away for 4 weeks at a time and my youngest makes him a lego “ship” every time he leaves – last visit home my husband showed him the board he has which has a photo of every ship he has ever made in the last 2 years. My youngest knows that even tho daddy is away, he is still very important to daddy.
    It doesn’t make much effort to make some sort of connection each day.

  120. says

    What a glorious post, and thank you for pointing out the obvious to me on a few things because it makes a difference. I’m pinning this and have shared the Facebook post as well.

  121. Charlotte says

    This made me smile and shed a tear, so many of these are such simple things that just get over looked in the hustle and bustle of everyday. I will be taking a careful look at myself from now on. Thank you x

  122. says

    Hi, loved your post! I got a request from my Russian-speaking friends to translate this into Russian. So I hope you don’t mind it being translated and circulated! I will make sure to link back to you!

    • Mama K Gaia says

      Me too! I have three under 6 as well and this is a great reminder of all the ways we can reassure our kids that we love, care and will always be there for them <3

  123. Gina says

    My trick when I am bored rigid hearing about their latest dream or game that seems to go on forever is to say to myself ‘big appropriate smiles/shocked face/etc, lots of questions for the next five minutes’, my next five minutes save the day and I know that they completely believe I am fascinated. Sometimes I am but there is a fair bit of going over old ground, which is clearly important to them. I love that they want to share it all but I sometimes find it hard to maintain interest.
    Our no. 100 is stick a big sheet of lining paper on the wall and provide a table of colours, glue, paint, stickers, crafty bits and watch them create a masterpiece. Has lasted for hours and makes us all happy and we have a lot of ginormous pictures.

  124. Michelle Vargas says

    Great List! I appreciate it because all this time, I thought I was doing my best! I just read how to improve my connection with my daughters..Thank you so much. Honestly, my biggest struggle is #65 showing them how to do something rather than banning them! I am excited to start is new journey with my daughters. <3

  125. says

    Thanks for including our 100 acts of kindness challenge in your post :) Love this post and your great ideas! I think about this list often and love your new poster.

  126. Michelle says

    Great list!!

    My #100 is to let your child give you a makeover and paint your nails. The nails may not look perfect but she takes such pride in her work!

  127. says

    I found this on Pinterest, and had to share it because it is so important! I wish this could be distributed more widely, and that more people understood the importance of being kind to their (and other people’s) children. Thanks so much for putting this out there!

  128. says

    Me encanto realmente!!! que importante demostrarles a nuestros hijos nuestro amor, cuanto nos importan y la diferencia que hacen en nuestras vidas!! te agradezco tu tiempo!! dios te bendiga!!

    I love it!!! how important is show of our kids our love, how important they are and the diference they do in our lives!! i apreciate your time!! good bless you!!

  129. Kimberly Davis says

    Love this list! One thing I ALWAYS try to do (and usually succeed at) is stopping what I am doing and really paying attention when they seek me out to talk. I have a 16 year old girl and a 12 year old boy. Their childhood is running out. I will forever be grateful that when they walk in a room and want my attention they have it. TV’s can be paused, phone conversations can be ended, books put down, dinner a few minutes later but their time with me is running out. My kids have each commented that they like that I stop what I am doing and give them my full attention when they want to talk, even if it is just about their day or a book they read. Sure, we chat while we do things but if they show up to talk, I show up to listen.

    • Alicia says

      I love your comment. It’s so true and so many people including myself at times, don’t know how to stop and listen. I have a 21 month old so he still needs me a lot but I will remember this when he gets older. If he shows up to talk, I will show up to listen.

  130. Lenore says

    I make a real effort everyday to respect when she tells me NO so that she will know her wishes are important to me and that it is okay to say no.

  131. Lenore says

    I make a real effort everyday to respect when she tells me NO so that she knows her wishes are important to me and she learns that it is okay to say no.

  132. Carla Pendleton says

    This is wonderful. Been strugling with helping my daughter with my grandson. I think we all need to practice kindness more. :)

  133. Karen says

    Let them overhear you telling others how wonderful they are and how much you love them. Never let them hear you complain about them or say negative things about them to others. And little ears are ALWAYS listening :)

  134. Paula says

    Thank you for the list. It is an easy way to remember to do the little things, and I love that it can be a poster.

  135. Rachel says

    Thank you *so* much. I desperately needed this tonight. My *kids* desperately needed me to read this tonight.

  136. Sarah says

    I just want you to know that the tears poured out of my eyes when I read the “try” part. I really needed this. I have lost my connection with my 5 year old daughter since I had my second child and I’m desperately trying to get it back. This will help :)

  137. tasha says

    Always show your child love and affection no matter what!! And if you have children, don’t show special attention to one without the other!! Loved this!! Thanks!!

  138. mary says

    I would love to have 100 ways to love your child chart for myself. Where can I order one?

  139. emily mascarenhas says

    I would also like to buy this chart where did you find it pls? thanks x

  140. says

    That is the side of the spectrum, religion has dictated sexual practice to be between one man and one woman
    and for the better, and they are a year or two away. He
    gave up six red sox runs in each of his final two starts
    of the year. This is our f***ing city, and nobody is going to be consumed by this.

  141. Ellen says

    This list is awesome! Shared it on FB with my #100 which is give him a massage. At 5 months old, he lights up like a Christmas tree at the smell of the balm and the sounds if my hands warming up. Parenting is full of best moments but this is close to the top!

  142. Nancy says

    my #100 is I tell my 3 y/o (with lots of passion) that I love her SO MUCH that I want to give her the moon, the sun, the stars and everything else in the world….but I can’t (with a sad look). It always makes her smile big, she loves it!

  143. Mary Musker says

    1. Always try and work out a way to say “Yes, and” rather than “No”
    2. When they suggest something impossible (“I wish we could go on holiday rather than to school today”); go with the fantasy (Wouldn’t that be great… where would we go?”) rather than telling them not to be silly, etc.

    • crina says

      this is the best comment! and best strategy to growing powerful independent happy adults 😉 and best for becoming the best friend of your child, though many would say it’s not healthy i think childs will always apreciate having a good friend rather than an annoying or “missing” parent. thanks for reminding what real care and love means somewhere beyond possible 😉

  144. Daisy says

    Yikes, this is a quite a list. Makes me feel like a bad parent for not doing all of these things. Surely there is enough pressure already to be a perfect mum?! I feel depressed!

  145. Elly says

    Hi Alissa, your 100 ways to be kind to your child is a beautiful reminder of those moments of grace in parenting. thank you so much for sharing :-)

  146. BB says

    thank you :) What a gracious way of conveying simple truths that all mothers need to read/hear. there are so many mothers out there that are on the other end of the spectrum from kind and i am confident that they simply are ignorant of the simple truths you have outlined!! hopefully your poster can make a difference in the coming generation!! Gives me added hope that I am not a lone ranger in giving my child an abundance of kindness!!!! Give and then give some more!!! I especially like your one about talking in a sweet voice even if you have to fake it. Disneyland is always happy and so should be our home.

  147. gigi says

    #11 Thanks for including adoption. So many parenting/mom blogs forget that many families are made through adoption.

  148. shad says

    I’m a grandmother & love #63. I find this question usually opens up lots of discussion. I can ask my granddaughter how her day or week went depending on how often I see her and she is an open book, but if I ask my grandson that question I get “hmmm, ok”. However when I am more specific and ask what was the best part of your day/week I get much more specific answers from my grandson.

  149. Jonathan says

    Number 100: avoid prescriptive parenting advice at all costs, anywhere, any time, ever.

  150. says

    I can’t order a poster because I’m in South America, but do you have the list on a PDF I can print out? cas_anderson[at]yahoo. I would love to have this printed out!

  151. Tiffany says

    Thank you so much for this amazing list! I really needed this today! I have been struggling to connect with my kids and will be printing it and putting it on my fridge!

  152. Jennifer says

    I came to read this because I have been having a hard time with my oldest (11). I want to make a big act of kindness and then repeat the rules and expectations. I want him to know that I love him but he still has to do some work around here.

  153. Marla Deby says

    This is such a wonderful list. Every night at bedtime our four- and six-year-old daughters ask, “Can you please tell us a story from your life?” They love hearing about when we were little (and big). We’ve noticed that their two older sisters often sneak in to listen as well, even though they heard these stories back when they went through this phase. I also like your recommendation to tell our children that sometimes we struggle too. It’s always striking when they reply with surprise that this is the case.

  154. Karla says

    This is very helpful, Alissa. I am a single mother of 2 boys and honestly, there always comes a time when I get too exhausted I forget how to be a kind and loving mom to them. Thank you very much, this article is truly a blessing, I immediately signed up in your website. God bless!

  155. humz says

    Hi..I love ur suggestions and the fact that they are so simple and easy 2 achieve.I teach at a preschool and was wondering if u mind if I print them out and share it with the parents? It would be much appreciated. Thanks

  156. says

    My additions…
    Delight: Have a picnic dinner on your front lawn.
    Take time: To hug, and let him/her let go first.
    Pretend: Things have different uses. i.e. Here’s a coffee filter, but I imagine it’s a… (We sometimes get a pillow case, fill it with miscellaneous items, and take turns passing it around and making up uses/stories about them.)

  157. Vanessa says

    Some of the kids have been coming to school with banana’s in their lunchboxes. Their mum’s are using vivids to write love notes to them on the banana skins. Very cute and the kids love it and feel special!

  158. Candice says

    I absolutely love this. I’m in tears. I really needed this right now. Thank you so so so much for posting this. <3

  159. Shahnagh says

    To be there when they open their eyes, with a smile a hug and a good morning my beautiful child.
    Love these 99 ways.

  160. Lorena Murray says

    Thank you for being a conscious parent and sharing your ideas! I felt good when I read the 1st part because I’ve told my son most of those things since he’s been able to understand them. The problem is that when I’m run down, I am not a conscientious parent. So I’m beginning to think that the best thing I can do for my son is to let him know before I lose it, that I need space and time and to plan ahead to prevent burn-out. It is so joyous to be in his presence when I feel good, it doesn’t even matter what we’re doing. I love him so!

  161. Thank you says

    I see posts like this frequently, but none as well written as yours. This is exactly what I need to be reminded of. Thank you.

  162. Melissa Curtis says

    This was a well thought out list and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you. I’m going to do at least 5 for each child on Mother’s Day to honor our special relationship. I’d also add -Tell your child: I’m sorry to model accountability and promote healing when we are less than we want to be. Great find on Pinterest.

  163. Lomilia says

    Trust:
    Your child

    Give:
    Them some responsibilities

    Those are two things I think would have helped me with my parents. I felt alone and unhelpful, weak and useless at times. My mother trusted me and it meant everything, I knew she had my back, my father was a different story. I learned that I couldn’t trust him when I realized he won’t ever trust me.

  164. Lemur says

    Give your child kisses for their pocket before they go to school or any other place way from you.

  165. louise says

    Hi, I can’t find the poster in your etsy shop… would really like to buy one!

  166. Kerry says

    Never let your child go to bed sad. Always kiss him good night and tell him I love
    You. Always say good morning. Always talk about their day when they get home from school.

  167. Diane Tucker says

    I love the 100 Ways To Be Kind To Your Child. The world rushes us along at such a pace that it’s so easy to let these moments pass us by. Thanks for all the ways I can love my babies!

  168. Kat says

    Make their cuddly toys and dolls get up to mischief while they’re at school, such as sitting them on the curtain pole, poking their heads under the pillow with just their legs poking out.

  169. says

    This is so sweet. They grow up so fast and that little time needs to be filled with good memories and love. Their behaviour as a grown person can hopefully reflect the love they received and impact others they come in contact with throughout life. If you are religious you could pray for them.

  170. deborah says

    Thank you so much, #44 really got me as I think I sigh a LOT and it’s something I am going to be more conscious about. So glad there’s a poster! One thing my 6 yr old son and I do sometimes (not often enough) is what we call talking in the dark. I lie in his room with him before he goes to sleep, with the lights off of course, and we just talk about whatever comes up- sometimes silly sometimes not, wherever the conversation takes us. It doesn’t always last terribly long (depending on what time it is when we start!) but there’s something about not being able to see each other and not having any distractions that lends itself to opening up. He loves it and I think it’s a way to connect on a little bit of a deeper level. Thank you so much for your article!

  171. Kristy says

    Do you know of a list of 100 ways to love a teen? I need to search for one when I have more time. I ran across your list and read thru it to see if any could still apply and so many wonderful memories popped into my head as I realized I could have wrote this list and more. I have a wonderful relationship with my 17 year old son, we have lived this list and we have so many wonderful memories because of it. I love that you put it out as a reminder that this list is more important than anything happening in your life because it fills the world with so much more love. It is those little moments that can add so much joy to your relationship. Having a son that is almost an adult I could use more suggestions from parents who have loved those adult years in a similar way to the young years. One thing I still do that I have done since he is young is spontaneously take a “mystery trip” that brings some unexpected joy. It can be something as simple as a bookstore, a favorite restaurant, a drive-in movie, an ice cream, a picnic on my bed with movies even. It is the one thing I learned from my father who died when I was 11 and left my mom to raise 5 of us alone. Those little mystery trips, even the ones where I was little and it was a ride to see the leaves changing, mean even more now than they did at the time. I gave my baby sister those mystery trips as soon as I could drive because I felt it was important she didnt miss out, and I did the same as I raised my son alone from the time he was 2 until now. What he has learned from living this way is in HIS words, “Mom … some people have everything they want and arent even happy, but we dont even have tv and we laugh all the time.” I’ve told him to remember this when he is a parent and to not miss out on the joy we have had with his own kids.

    • says

      Kristy – I have been wanting to write a list for the teen years. As my oldest is only 9 I will need some help on this endeavor, so it’s been on the back burner. I will be sure to email you should it come to fruition.

  172. Laura says

    I love this! I would definitely add: Try to look after yourself and manage your own stress. It is incredibly important! The effects that a parents stress has on their children’s health and mental state in the future can be profound.

    I HIGHLY recommend every parent research Dr Gabor Mate and his study on the consequences of stressed parents.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGmADfU5HGU

    It really blew my mind and made me realise why my partner is suffering from Crohn’s disease. He had a verbally abusive father with a very short temper. As a consequence of his childhood experiences, my partner cannot manage stress and his emotions in a healthy way, which has now manifested into an auto-immune disease.

    There is a strong link between chronic illnesses, such as cancer and asthma, and your childhood experiences with stressed parents and a lack of attachment with them. The way you care for and treat your child now, can have a significant effect on their chances of becoming ill in the future. Please research this for your children’s sake!!

  173. says

    I love this! Reading it almost brought tears to my eyes.nits also kind of comforting that I’m not the only one who needs reminding. :)

  174. JomarRachelle Dioso says

    Our #100 is playing “tickle time” Kids romp on the bed under covers and we tickle/poke any which way :) and they love it!! They look forward to this especially on high strung days.. our way of ‘release’ that is usually followed by hugs & a nap. Now just thinking about it brings out a smile .

  175. Emily says

    My fave way to show my kids kindness is a sincere apology to them when I mess up as a parent. I think it’s a huge kindness to ask their forgiveness and give them the opportunity to forgive. They are learning that it’s ok to mess up, and it’s ok to own up to it!

  176. Jennifer Tollefson says

    We do this every night at the dinner table and have been for 5 yrs (our oldest is 6). It starts conversations and it helps find everyday things that we are thankful for.

  177. edrucky says

    Muy lindo! Tan simples, pero parece que a diario algunos items se me olvidan.

  178. Bonbon Break says

    This is the first post we shared from you and still one of my all time favorites! A true gem. :)

  179. sarah says

    Take time to take them to their favorite places a park a movie and actually engage with them.

  180. profhutch says

    This is so touches my heart. I appreciated the opening paragraph as well. It’s impossible to be supermom/superdad….but there are little things we can do to love our kids!  With my kids, we all try to be silly sometimes. Bubble in your milk Mondays….Join them on the swings….Have fun with your children. They want you happy too :) Plus it is so fun to be childlike too.

  181. flames74 says

    Love this post!  A favorite way to show love/kindness at our house is a special hug that we call a ‘[child’s name] sandwich’.  This is where Mom and Dad hug with the child ‘sandwiched’ between them, usually causing another child to come running in asking for the same treatment.   Always ending in much laughter… a spirit-lifter for all!

  182. Heather Tudhope says

    We do kissing hands (book by the same name) everyday before school and bed since reading the night before pre-school started.

  183. Deb says

    When my kids were little, before they went to bed I would always “put some love in their heart.” I explained that having lots of love in their heart would give them a good sleep and great dreams.  Love was a magic that would keep them happy and warm and cozy.  I would hug them and squeeze them and kiss them and ask, “is that enough?”  Sometimes they would say, “yep, that’s enough” or “more!” and I’d kiss and squeeze and hug them a few more times.  I remember one night when my son Scotty was about four, he woke up crying and when I went into his room, he sobbed, “I need some more love in my heart.”  So I wrapped him in my arms and hugged him and kissed him all over his face and told him I was filling him up with love. It settled him right down and he went back to sleep.

  184. hmk says

    My kids and I have a “code” for when we can’t talk…..we blink three times to say “I love you”

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  187. Geoff says

    What a wonderful list.  We were so excited that we had done almost everything on the list when our kids were little.  We shared it with our new-found friends with an 18 month old little girl, and they loved it as well.  Thanks so much!

  188. says

    I love this article. It demonstrates how small things that only take a moment can impact a child so much and teach them kindness. I am enjoying reading all the comments too. some great and creative ideas. I started a blog called the guilty mommy (theguiltymommy.com) because I, like many other moms often feel overwhelmed by my mommy guilt like I am always doing something wrong.  These simple things may just ease my guilt a little. Thank you for such a great list.

  189. 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.

  190. 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.

  191. SherrySiedenburg says

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

  192. 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.

  193. 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

  194. 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/

  195. 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

  196. 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.

  197. HannahWaters says

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

  198. krizarm1 says

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

  199. 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

  200. 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.”
    http://www.apcnorfolk.org/?t=parenting

  201. Early Endeavors says

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

  202. 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 :-)

  203. Emily Mason says

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

  204. 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 :)

  205. 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!

  206. says

    You are a BLESSING, dear. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Good luck for you. Wishing happiness for your whole family. My thanks for those who comment – you’re amazing, guys. Sending hugs from Ukraine. ?

  207. says

    What a beautiful post, Alissa! This made me smile & also brought on a tear or two! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing.

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