Encouraging words mean a lot to every child as they grow and develop. Those encouraging words are needed from parents, caretakers, neighbors, coaches and other adults who interact with children.
“Children thrive when they hear encouraging words,” says The Kempe Foundation President & CEO John Faught. “Positive words like ‘You’re the best,’ ‘You are special,’ and ‘You can do it’ make a world of difference to a child.”
Encouraging words are one way our community can support children. Another way to help kids thrive is by spending quality time with them.
“There are many studies that show quality is more important than quantity,” says Faught. “ There are a lot of ways you can spend quality time with a child. You can read a book together, build a fort out of blankets, play ball, bake cookies or truly listen to them talk about their feelings.”
Another way to foster happy healthy kids is through affection. Research shows affection and unconditional love make children happier and healthier. Hugs, kisses on the check, and saying the words “I love you” are simple ways to express emotions to children. Studies show children who experience affection and nurturing from a young age often have enhanced brain development.
“True unconditional love creates strong bonds, enhances a child’s mental capacity, and helps shape children into more well-rounded human beings. Just a few minutes each day from parents, teachers, family members and other adults that interact with a child can make a life changing impact and improve the well-being of a child,” says Faught.
This April, as organizations across the country recognize child abuse prevention month, Kempe encourages communities to join in to ensure children are healthy and happy.
Discover more ways to show children you care about them at www.Kempe.org. Kempe is an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
The best way to raise happy healthy children is to spend time each day showing you care. Hang this list on your refrigerator as inspiration (click here to download). Each day, choose one of these activities including coloring with your kids (free coloring sheet).
- Color with your child
- Give a hug just because
- Build a blanket fort together and hang out inside
- Say “I love you” at breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Take a walk together
- Let your child choose a game and play it with them
- Catch your child doing something right and celebrate them with verbal praise
- Plan a meal and cook it together
- Read a book together
- Tell your child a happy story from your childhood
- Do a craft together, and don’t worry about cleaning up the mess until the end
- Pack a picnic and go to the park together
- Take your child on a nature walk and play “I spy”
- Put your phone and electronic devices in “time out” for one hour
- Send your child a special card to open in the mail
- Let your child pick out a picture of him or herself to put in a frame in your house
- Ask your child where they would like to go and take them there
- Pack a love note in your child’s lunch
- Stop everything for 20 minutes and do only what your child wants to do
- Do a household chore together
- Create a scavenger hunt for your child and a friend around your neighborhood
- Do something kind for a neighbor together – like rake a lawn or bring them cookies
- Go to the museum together
- Take your child to the grocery store and work together to pick out the ingredients for a healthy meal
- Color the driveway with chalk together
- Play dress up together
- Tell your child specifically what is unique or special about them
- Offer a word of encouragement when your child tries something difficult
- Finger paint together
- Make funny faces together and laugh