So first of all, just what does it mean to delight in your preschooler? Delighting in them means you communicate that there is nothing you’d rather be doing than spending time with them. It means you focus on all the positive ways God made them unique. It means to communicate to their little heart that you are delighted to be their mom or dad and you enjoy spending time with them. It means intentionally focusing on what is really important and learning to step into their shoes. It means that you believe the best of them and are their biggest cheerleader. The world won’t do it. It’s up to you!
So- here’s a little list of 20 ways you can show your little one that they are special to you:
1. Stoop down to look them in the eye when they speak to you whenever possible
2. Stop what you are doing when they are all excited about something- like the ants on the front porch carrying the cracker crumbs away
3. When you can’t stop what you are doing, look them in the eye and tell them you’d much rather be watching the ants with them than cooking dinner, but as soon as you pop it in the oven, you’ll come out and watch with them.
4. Give them at least 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted time each day- either reading to them or doing something they love to do. (When I had 4 and 5 little ones, I would put them down at naptime and call each one out separately to “spend time” with them.)
5. Hug them often
6. Snuggle with them each night as you pray with them in bed. Their hearts seem super receptive at nighttime (maybe bc they don’t want to go to sleep) so take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with them.
7. Mention their name in prayer to God each night thanking God for things they have done right during the day
8. Show excitement over the little things that excite them
9. Read to them often
10. Hang their special papers they make you in a prominent place. I used to frame them often. I just found a frame recently that has a door that opens to place papers in- Holds up to 20 papers! I also once had a magnetic frame to put on fridge door.
11. Use the gifts they make you. I still have a pencil holder made from a soup can that my 4th child gave me one year for Christmas
12. Be easy to please. Don’t make your kids feel like they never measure up.
13. Refrain from raising your voice to your little ones. If you are struggling with your attitude, tell them, “Mommy is going to her room to talk with God and get my attitude right. You sit quietly and look at a book till I get back.”
14. Don’t laugh at your kids. They are so cute, it’s hard not too, but they don’t understand how cute they are. They need to be able to trust you with their heart.
15. Get down on the floor and play doll house or matchboxes or farm with them.
16. Sing to them. Each of my kids had their own “special song” I would sing to them.
17. Tell them often how glad you are the God gave them to you.
18. Include them whenever you can in what you are doing- putting dishes in dishwasher, dusting, sweeping. I got kids-sized brooms, etc. so they could really help. Let them know you couldn’t do it without them. (Even if you have to go back later to touch up their work!)
19. Tell them how glad you are to see them every morning- enthusiastically!
20. Tell them God made them in a special way for a special purpose and no one in all the world can do what God made them to do.