My younger son was having a particularly emotional night. There were lots of tears and he had his head buried in his pillow. I grabbed his stuffed frog, lowered my voice (because, you know, frogs have deep voices), and started talking to him as “Mr. Ribbit.” He immediately looked up, tried to stifle his smile, and eventually started cracking up. The things kids love often surprise me and this was no exception.

Now, both of my sons, aged eight and nine, request that I give their buddies voices and personalities. I’m learning that it really doesn’t take a whole lot to make them feel seen, heard, and loved. We tend to think the big lavish shows of affection or attention are necessary, but there are so many simple things kids love that take very little effort from us. Here are 35. Pick a few and start today!


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