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Finish February Like a Champ, Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

We all like to feel good; feel appreciated, feel like we matter. What if I told you that you could make a meaningful difference to your kids in new ways, every day for the rest of the month? Following the below ideas, you could even share more and create a stronger bond and happier days.

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While these gestures may seem trivial to adults, they go a long way with your little ones. Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile.

1. Wear that macaroni necklace to work. Well, at least until you’re safely out the door.

2.Tape a family mantra or slogan (Unstoppable! We can, we will! We’ve got this!) to your refrigerator door and invoke it whenever your child feels discouraged.

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3. Go for a walk with just one child.

4. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate) into her lunch box.

5. Build your own Minecraft world alongside his.

6. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.

7. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park rides as they do.

8. If you quarrel in front of your child, make sure that he also sees you make up.

9. When her room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.

10. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandma every now and then.

11. If your child has given it a good try, but he’s still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.

12. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.

13. Get out the glitter glue and make a birthday card for your child.

14. Take in a pet that needs a home—and a child’s love.

15. Hold off with the barrage of how-was-your-day questions if your child comes home from school grumpy and tired. You can always get the rundown at the dinner table.

BONUS IDEAS:

1. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall.

2. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.

3. Let your child wear her dress-up clothes to the supermarket. All month if she wants to.