1. Treat Them Like Adults.
Obviously not all the time, ok? But really, get down on their level and ask them about their day, find out what’s going on in their head, and don’t talk down to them. Treat them like their opinions matter. They can tell if you are bothered by them or if you think they’re the greatest thing ever. Don’t talk down to them. Let them know you believe in them! We tend to rise to the expectations placed upon us; therefore, it stands to reason that if you treat your little siblings like little pests, they will be little pests. But if you treat them as valued friends true best buds, they will tend to confide in you and return the respect.
2. Write Notes.
Kids LOVE getting a sweet little note at random times! I like to write about something notable I see them doing, or tell them how happy I am that they’re my sibling (or friend), or just tell em they’re special! Doing an act of service (like completing a chore for them or making their bed) and leaving a note behind will totally make their day!
3. Plan Fun Activities.
Some of my best memories with the little people in my life have been fun outings I have been able to take them on. There are so many things I love to do with them!
4. Make Yummy Treats.
Oh, how they love this! Just this evening, I happened to be home with my four youngest siblings. Liz asked if we could have these little chocolate things from the cupboard. “No, but don’t brush your teeth, because we’re having dessert later!” I said. After a competitive word search together, I made chocolate chip milkshakes for them as a fun surprise. They were thrilled! It was an easy way to add an extra-special touch to our evening together.
5. Give the Gift of Time.
Younger siblings and little friends need the thing that is in scarcest demand in our world- T.I.M.E. I know it isn’t easy, but stopping to listen when we’re “busy”, or taking time out of our jam-packed schedule to plan something fun to do together….these things speak love to them like almost none other.