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Parents of multiple children might be getting it all wrong — here's how to connect with each kid

No one ever said parenting was easy — especially today.

But if you have more than one kid, there are definite steps you can take as a parent or caregiver to make each child feel special — and to make that child know how much you love him or her, each and every day.

In a busy, bustling world, try these three simple ways to make each child feel special.

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Read on for details …

1. Start every day by speaking your kids’ names directly to each of them

Early morning wake-ups can be tough on kids — and parents — of all ages. The temptation is to issue a general “good morning” — and then quickly start listing off commands. 

“Eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, get dressed” are expected declarations, especially when you have more than child you’re trying to herd. 

Father In Car Dropping Off Daughter In Front Of School Gates

Studies have shave shown that there is unique brain activation at work when someone hears his or her own name in contrast to the names of others. (iStock)

While those orders may be necessary, try sliding in each kid’s name between your salutation and solicitation. 

“Good morning, Matt; good morning, Finn; good morning, Eliza” take a few extra breaths, but studies have shave shown that there is unique brain activation at work when someone hears his or her own name in contrast to the names of others. 

Speak that sweetness to your children individually — before you tell them to put their shoes on. 

Dale Carnegie, the well-known author of the now-iconic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” once said, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

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Speak that sweetness to your children individually — before you tell them to put their shoes on. 

After all, you were the one to come up with your kids’ names!

2. Look each child in the eye with love and care when speaking to him or her

When you’re serving multiple plates of eggs, ensuring your coffee cup is full (in addition to all the water bottles) and reviewing the logistics required of your crew that coming day, it can be hard to think straight, let alone look straight into your child’s eyes — but that’s exactly what your child needs. 

happy child in store

Today, screens are battling for our kids’ attention. That’s why nothing says “I see you” like the eyes of a parent looking directly into a child’s eyes.  (iStock)

Chances are you might be the only adult who does it that day. 

Most teachers have 20-plus kids in their classrooms. 

Coaches have more kids on their teams than you do in your home. 

And let’s be honest, screens are constantly battling for our kids’ (and our) attention. 

Kids learn the language of caring by seeing how we direct our caring behavior toward them — and that includes the focus of our eyes. 

After a long day of school for kids and work for you, sometimes eyes are more likely to be glazed than focused — but nothing says “I see you” like two eyes looking into yours. 

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Dr. Dan J. Siegel, founder of a field of research called interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB), studied the profound impacts of a mother’s gaze (or lack thereof) on the development of children. 

His work has proved that the mother’s (or primary caregiver’s) gaze plays an essential role in how we develop empathy. 

parents laughing with baby

A parent’s direct gaze into a child’s eye plays an essential role in that child’s development — including the development of empathy.  (iStock)

Kids learn the language of caring by seeing how we direct caring behavior toward them — and where our eyes focus is a major ingredient in that psychological recipe. 

So if your little one still needs help tying shoelaces, take an extra second when kneeling down to look up at her face and tell her how precious she is before you stand and kiss her cheek. 

If your child is a big kid, surprise him as he wrangles his heavy backpack. 

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Put a hand on his shoulder and say, “Hey, I know we’re rushing out the door today, but I just had to tell you I love you” with your eyes locked on his. 

He may shrug it off on the outside, but he felt it on the inside.

3. Give each child a song that just the two of you share

If you have more than one child, you likely are asking your kids to share — a lot. 

You’re asking them to share toys, share a bathroom, share talking time during dinner-table conversation and much more. 

Teaching your kids how to share is admirable, but what if they each could have one thing they didn’t have to share? 

kids grocery shop with mom

One mom decided she would give each of her kids a hymn that connects some aspect of their name and character with the faith she hopes they grow. (iStock)

What if they each had one thing that was special for just parent and child?

What if that thing created a one-of-a-kind bond between the two of you and it didn’t you cost a dime? 

Enter: the song

When a couple gets married, they pick a “wedding song” that expresses some element of their special relationship, marks the beginning of their life together, is a source of encouragement in the years to come and isn’t shared with anyone else. 

Whenever you enjoy that special song for that child, you can be sure it will make your child think of you. 

Observing the power of this tradition, one mom in Florida decided she would give each of her kids a hymn that connects some aspect of their name and character with the faith she hopes they grow. 

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For instance, one of her children is named after a flower, so she picked “In the Garden” and has sung it to her daughter ever since she was a baby. 

Now that mom has four kids — and each one knows “The Garden Song” is their big sister’s song because they each have their own song as well.  

music child

One mom named a child after a flower — so she picked “In the Garden” and has sung it to her daughter ever since she was a baby.  (iStock)

While that example is serious in its symbolism, the song need not be to convey a sweet concept. 

Maybe it’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to speak to the fact that nothing can separate you from the love you have for your child, or “My Girl” to let your daughter know that you adore her. 

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You can play it in the car with the volume up loud (rotating whose turn it is to play “their song,” of course).

You can sing it softly as a lullaby at bedtime, and even dance to it at a future wedding reception. 

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Whenever you enjoy that special song for that child, whether now or during some distant day ahead, you can be sure it will make your child think of you — and how uniquely special they are to you.

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