Pay attention to your child

Pay attention to your child

We all want attention, to be acknowledged and appreciated that we are valuable, that we exist. A smile, a hug, a wave, a kind word exhibits positive recognition.  A frown, a rebuff or a harsh word reveals negative attention. If we do not get positive attention then we will seek any attention rather than be ignored.

When we notice our child is good and playing happily, it’s tempting to leave the child alone. When a child is acting out, such as throwing blocks around the room, we try to prevent them misbehaving by yelling at them to stop. The child has achieved the outcome – parental attention. As the saying goes, ‘Negative attention is better than no attention at all’.

Before we can institute rules with our children, we need to build strong stable loving relationships with them first. Loving and positive messages will also help to build your child’s self-image over time. Spend a minimum twenty minutes of focussed time a day playing with each child. As a parent, you will reap the rewards for years to come. Have fun with your child, build block towers, create a cave by throwing a sheet over a table and enter into the fun of it with torches and giggling.  Play builds a wonderful relationship with your child and you may re-discover the child-like qualities that many of us leave behind when we become adults with many responsibilities.