What do you want, child?

As a little child, I knew exactly what I wanted. I know when I’m hungry. I spit out the foods I didn’t like and avidly devoured the ones I like. I had no trouble expressing my needs and wants. I simply cried loudly- with no inhibitions or holding back- until I got what I wanted. I had everything inside of me that I needed to get fed, changed, held, and rocked. All through this processes, i simply wanted my parents to pay attention to every of my actions so that they can understand me. As I got older, I crawled around and moved towards whatever held the most interest for me. I was clear about what I wanted and headed straight towards it with no fear. Somewhere along the way, my parents said …..

Don’t touch that!

Stay away from there.

Keep your hands off that.

Eat everything on your plate whether you like it or not!

You don’t really want that.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Stop crying. Don’t be such a baby.

As I got older, I heard……

You can’t have everything simply because you want it.

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Can’t you think of anybody but yourself?!

Stop doing what you are doing and come do what I want you to do!

A good parent , like a good entertainer first must hold his/her child’s attention, then he can teach his/her lesson. The difference between something good and something great is attention to details. “There is a fine line between spoiling your children by giving them too much attention, neglecting your children’s behavior, and raising a child who has a well-adjusted childhood.”Kids start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents’ eyes. What happens when their parents do not pay attention to them? They don’t see themselves too because they are supposed to see themselves through their parent’s eyes so they try as much as possible to make themselves noticeable. Adolescents seem to need less undivided attention from their parents than younger kids. Because there are fewer windows of opportunity for parents and teens to get together, parents should do their best to be available when their teen does express a desire to talk or participate in family activities. Attending school activities, a walk, games,shopping and other events with your teen communicates caring and lets you get to know more about your child and his or her friends in important ways.
Don’t feel guilty if you’re a working parent. It is the many little things you do — making popcorn, playing games, shopping — that kids will remember.

Attention is one way to get warmth in your relationship with your children. It includes smiling at your child, making eye contact and using caring facial expressions ,being physically gentle and caring with your child, using words to celebrate and encourage your child ,showing interest in your child’s interests, activities, achievements and sometimes it could mean silence. Some parents are terrible listeners. They just want to talk all the time. From birth, children need experiences and relationships that show them they’re valued, capable human beings who bring pleasure to others. Attention, reaction and responses from parents helps to build and see how valued they are.

How can it get better?

I heard a child say ‘if only mummy could pay more attention to me, maybe she could stop being so conclusive about me.’ Children who aren’t getting the attention they want from their parents often act out or misbehave because they’re sure to be noticed that way. Most times, children require a close look. This is diligence in parenting.When you’re not looking as parents, they don’t see themselves because they simply want to see themselves through your eyes so they try to compete with anything that takes your time just to get noticed; it could be your job.

Proverbs 27:23 (KJV) Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

From the moment they’re born, children are paying attention to what you say and do – and how you say and do it. Even before babies can understand and use words, they respond to your tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions and body language. Better attentive measures to children are comforting baby when crying , chat about what’s going on around the two of you. Notice what your child is interested in and encourage such children to explore. Tell your child exactly what you like about what she’s doing. For example, ‘I love it when you help to arrange my clothes ’. Use a positive tone of voice to match the praise. Appreciation is one way to praise a child. Get into the moment with your child. This could be as simple as going for a walk together. When you’re talking together, leave time after you talk so your child can reply, even if she can’t always find the right words to use. Some children are not expressive. Give lots of feedback about the kinds of behaviour that you want to encourage – for example, ‘Thanks for bringing your plate to the kitchen. That makes it much quicker to tidy up after dinner’. Remember to smile and make eye contact with your child when you greet him in the morning – perhaps even take a moment for a special cuddle. When I was a child, my dad use to give me a huge hug and pray for me in the morning. Stop what you’re doing and listen when your child wants to talk about his day at school. Children go through a lot in school since school takes up their major hours. This might not always be as soon as he gets home, though – it might be when he’s in the bath or just before he goes to sleep. Ask follow-up questions when your child starts talking. This keeps the conversation going. Notice and guide your child’s positive interactions with others. Diligence in parenting requires being attentive to your children.

Remember, you have strengths and weaknesses as a family leader. Recognize your abilities — “I am loving and dedicated.” Vow to work on your weaknesses — “I need to be more consistent with attention .” Try to have realistic expectations for yourself, your spouse, and your kids. You don’t have to have all the answers — be forgiving of yourself. Focus on the areas that need the most attention rather than trying to address everything all at once. See things get better in faith.

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