We are often asked, “How do you help each child in your family to feel valuable?” This is particularly important to parents who have more than one child. Although children shouldn’t feel that the world spins around them, every child should feel appreciated and valued as a member of the family.
Some children have very outgoing and vibrant personalities. This causes those around them to recognize their talents easily. But, other children are more laid back, and you must dig to find those golden nuggets and draw them out for all to see. Recognizing each child’s uniqueness is an essential part of family life.
Here are some ways you can reinforce your children’s sense of value in your family:
- Help them discover their uniqueness. Every child has been handcrafted—created on purpose for a purpose. Each is as unique as a fingerprint—talents, aptitudes, personality, passions, love language. Stay alert for those traits that make them who they are, talk about them and celebrate them in your family.
Create opportunities for them to serve others with their talents. Regularly highlight what each child excels at and show their siblings how they can rely on that child’s help to complete a certain task. If she is a good organizer, give her jobs that will cause this skill to shine. If he is a detail person, put him in charge of overseeing cleanup of a room or a certain area. Give them opportunities within the family to hone their skills and to perfect them. This is a major boost to each child to feel appreciated by those around him.
Recognize their accomplishments outside the home. When a child demonstrates skill as part of an event with others, be sure to celebrate this during time as a family. A game that was won, a goal achieved, an A on a paper, being selected as a team captain, winning an award for a project. All of these are opportunities to let your child shine. Pour on the accolades when he comes home and around the table at mealtime!
Special Days. We chose to use our weekdays to focus on one of our five children each day (Monday was the first-born, Tuesday the second-born, etc.) The day was considered that child’s special day with many privileges—riding in the front seat, being able to answer the phone, getting to be the one who accompanied Mom while doing errands, helping with dinner preparations (some a bit outdated but you get the point). Everyone in the family knew whose day it was and attempted to prefer that child on their special day.
Time with Dad. Since moms often have more individual time with each child in the family, my husband began a tradition of Special Time with Dad. On his day off, he would rotate which child he would have special time with—one child per week. This provided one-on-one time with Dad, but provided years of quality time and in-depth talks that they would remember.
Kids can sometimes can lost in the shuffle, especially if you have a larger family. Taking the time to individualize and celebrate each child and his talents can make a huge difference in how he feels about himself. It also gives every member of the family an appreciation for each other. It’s an important part of building a strong, close family culture.
Question: What is one way you were meant to feel valued growing up in your family? How do you make sure everyone in your family now feels valued and appreciated? Share your answer in the comments below.