Some days it seems like you’re just holding everything together—rushing to get the kids to school on time, rushing to get to work, rushing home to cook dinner, then rushing through the bath and bedtime routine. That’s just the way life goes sometimes. If you’re lacking in time (like most parents are) but want to show your child how much you love them, here are 30 little ways that can be incorporated into your day with almost zero effort.
1. Give your child kisses when they wake up.
2. Read an extra book before bedtime.
3. If you get home too late to read books at night, read a book at breakfast instead.
4. If your child can read, put a note in their lunch box that says, “Have fun today! Love you!”
5. Give big hugs and kisses before you leave.
6. Ask what their favorite part of the day was.
7. Ask what the hardest part of the day was, too.
8. When your child is desperate for your attention, drop what you’re doing and give it to them.
9. Look them in the eyes.
10. Stay in their room just a few minutes longer than usual at bedtime.
11. Notice something they’ve done right: “Thank you for putting your toys away, I really appreciate it.”
12. Cook together—let your child help you make dinner or bake together.
13. No matter how bad your day was or how annoyed you are at your kid, never go to bed angry or let your child go to bed feeling that you’re angry with them.
14. Compliment your child on something they do: “I really love listening to you sing. You sing so beautifully.”
15. Try to get ready ahead of your schedule so you can cut out the “hurry ups” and let your kid take their own time getting in the car or walking down the street (maybe letting them pick a few flowers along the way).
16. Really listen to what your child is saying without interrupting.
17. Make your child feel like their opinion matters by asking what they think.
18. Proudly display their artwork at home.
19. Don’t talk about them, especially their flaws, in front of them.
20. After you have an argument, give them a big hug and tell them it’s okay.
21. Follow through on any promises you make.
22. Play with your child, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
23. Say “yes” instead of no.
24. Give your child your full attention when you’re together.
25. Think of a fun activity to do together on the weekend, even if it’s something as simple as going to a new playground.
26. Smile at your child.
27. Be the last to let go of hugs.
28. Ask to hold their hand.
29. Try to see their point of view.
30. Tell them you love them. Every single day.