I am feeling sappy. The school year has ended, the business has changed, and now is a great time to reflect on the countless challenges and joys accompanying each school year. I have been on a mission to love my boys more deeply (see, sappy). Among the most crucial elements contributing to a child’s well-being and development are the feelings of being loved, understood, seen, and heard. These emotional pillars nurture a child’s confidence and lay the foundation for a thriving and resilient individual. Here is why I believe these feelings are so essential and how you can foster them in your daily interactions with your child.

The Importance of Feeling Loved: Love is the foundation of a child’s emotional security. Children who feel genuinely loved develop a strong sense of self-worth and belonging. This unconditional love provides them with the courage to explore the world, knowing they have a safe and supportive home base to return to.  

How to Show Love:

  • Spend quality time together, free from distractions.
  • Offer physical affection, like hugs and cuddles.
  • Express your love through words and actions consistently.

The Need to Feel Understood: Like adults, children need to feel that their emotions and experiences are validated. When they feel understood, they learn to trust their feelings and are more likely to express themselves openly. This understanding helps them navigate their emotions and builds their emotional intelligence.

How to Show Understanding:

  • Listen actively without interrupting.
  • Acknowledge their feelings, even if you don’t agree with their perspective.
  • Encourage them to share their thoughts and experiences.

The Power of Being Seen: Being seen means recognizing and appreciating your child’s unique qualities and efforts. It’s about noticing the little things that make them who they are and celebrating their individuality. When children feel seen, they develop a positive self-image and confidence in their abilities.

How to Make Them Feel Seen:

  • Pay attention to their interests and hobbies.
  • Celebrate their achievements, no matter how small.
  • Show interest in their daily activities and stories.

The Impact of Being Heard: When children feel heard, they understand that their opinions matter and that they have a voice in the family. This empowers them to express themselves freely and builds their communication skills. Being heard also reinforces their sense of respect and dignity.

How to Ensure They Feel Heard:

  • Encourage open dialogue and ask for their opinions.
  • Take their suggestions and concerns seriously.
  • Create an environment where they feel safe to speak up.

I am confident that incorporating these principles into your parenting approach doesn’t require grand gestures; actually, small, consistent efforts have the most significant impact. By making your child feel loved, understood, seen, and heard, you are not only nurturing their emotional well-being but also equipping them with the tools they need to thrive in life.

Remember, your presence and attentiveness are the greatest gifts you can offer to help your child grow into a confident, resilient, and happy individual.

Have you taken a moment today to show your child that they are valued and cherished? These efforts will not only strengthen your bond but also contribute profoundly to their overall development and happiness.


Love you boys!

Dr. Marnee