Great tips! For me, for you, for us, the mummies! :))
1) Create little morning moments
"The morning sets the tone," says Bob Lancer, author of Parenting With Love, Without Anger or Stress. "If there's strife, rushing, or power struggles in the morning, you have a child who feels less important than other elements of the parent's agenda."
Instead of giving in to morning impatience, Vanessa Pizzinato of Ontario, Canada, takes a few minutes with her 5-year-old every morning to gently walk her fingers over his legs and feet to wake him up. If that doesn't work, then she takes his feet, puts one up to her ear and the other in front of her mouth, and talks to his tummy and head "to find out when they think he will wake up."
Cara Mirabella, who runs TheHouseholdHelper, spends a little quality time each morning with her 2-year-old by having coffee together. (His "coffee" is milk.) "We watch Sesame Street, the two of us cuddling on the couch, enjoying our coffee," she says.
2) Snuggle and cuddle
Karen Maezen Miller, author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhoodsays that physical touch is essential to making your child feel connected and special. "Take every opportunity to impart security and steadfast love with the pure joy of your physical touch: a hug, a tickle, a single finger to hold onto. Get close," she says.
3) Make up special stories
Children love being the center of our attention. If your child has the chance for just a moment to be the hero in her own story, it will likely become her favorite bedtime story.
Shara Lawrence-Weiss, mother of two in Arizona and founder of Personal Child Stories, creates stories about her children — with photos to boot. "When others ask my kids about their books, they beam from ear to ear. My son says, 'My mom made this for me!' "
4) Ask for help
It's all too easy to treat a child like a child and do everything for him. But including him in your tasks can instantly make him feel important and special.
Life coach Leverrier says, for instance, let your child choose what's for dinner now and then. "Take him to the grocery store to pick the food and let him help prepare the meal."
5) Break the rules
Kids love to break rules. So imagine how fun it would be just to have waffles for dinner — or stay up past bedtime and watch a movie with Mommy or Daddy.
Lori Quaranta of Connecticut made a deal with her daughter when she was in first grade that if she "kept up at school, we would enjoy a 'skip work and school day' together."
So, twice every school year, they "skipped school" to have a mother-daughter day — "which usually included some type of shopping. We did this until she graduated high school. My daughter is 22 years old now."
6) Have fun at bedtime
Bedtime is a perfect time to make your child feel special. Daniel Hallac, cofounder ofKidmondo, says that he and his wife started a bedtime routine six years ago with their son called "relax."
After teeth brushing and a story, it's time for "the relax," which "is really just hanging out in his bed with the lights out," says Hallac. "We just talk about anything he wants to talk about. Like many parents, we are very busy and pulled in a million directions. But during 'relax' time, we focus 100 percent on him."
7) Get silly
Being silly is something kids understand well — and appreciate wholeheartedly in others. There's no better way to get a kid's attention than by being wacky — and it can make them feel like you're in their world with them, instead of up in your adult world.
Mom Gina Luttrell gets goofy when she sings to her 3-year-old every night: "Instead of reciting the exact words to "You Are My Sunshine,' we sing 'You are my sunshine cupcake head.' Or, instead of 'You'll never know dear,' we sing 'You'll never YES dear.' "
8) Use your words
Parenting experts agree that while it might feel most natural to say "I love you" or "I'm proud of you," focusing on the you instead of the I can make your child feel special.
"If you want to raise your children's self-esteem, you don't want them to be overly concerned about your pride," explains parenting expert Marilyn Suttle in Michigan. "Try focusing on their own pride by saying something like, 'You must feel so proud of yourself!' "
9) And just pay attention to the little things
For Richie Escovedo, father of two, a little dancing does the trick. "During Dancing With the Stars, my daughter dressed up in one of her Disney princess costumes and danced. It melted my heart to hear her say, 'Dance with me, Daddy!' There is nothing better."
And even just using the word "special" can make your child feel special.
Mom of three Carol Schiller in Washington state says that "the word 'special' is very powerful."
"Ever since they were very little, I have asked them: 'Who is my special boy (or girl)?' " says Schiller. "Of course they all know the answer is 'Me!' Now, whenever we are together I can ask 'Who is my special?' to the group and they all chime in together, 'ME!!' — even my 2-year-old."