Did you REALLY hear what I said?
Today I’m working on adding some things to my website (I’ll be teaching classes soon!! 😳😱). My youngest (age 4) asked if he could play next to me. I wanted to say no because I was enjoying not being bothered in my office space, but I have realized over the years that sometimes when your kids ask something of you there could be a true underlying reason that they may not be able to fully explain to you. God seems to create these moments between my children and me during times when I am the most busy or stressed. Kids come to me asking for me to read a book to them, or look a some scribbles on a paper, or look at a leaning tower of blocks, or any other thing that seems no minimal to me at the moment I’m in. Many times I immediately get defensive and tell my kids no because I’m obviously in the middle of something that, to me, is more important. As I’ve grown in my parenting wisdom over the almost sixteen years that God has blessed me to parent my own children, I have realized that children communicate differently than adults do. Your child may come to you asking you to look at a random drawing they created, and deep down they are seeking approval & adornment from you. I don’t know of many kids that would openly & randomly approach their parents asking for approval from them out of the blue. I try to understand my children's various personalities and then cater to those needs as I see fit. In the situation this morning, I know that our four year old requires a lot of one-on-one attention. Last night he was extremely clingy and had a hard time going to sleep because there was a thunderstorm that conveniently started at bedtime. Realizing that and knowing his level of attention, I quickly concluded that him asking to play near me was a plea for having someone near him for reassurance & comfort...but he didn’t know how to put that into words! If I would have denied him playing near me, he would have gone from one family member to the next being bothersome and a nuisance, all in the name of his deep-down yearn for attention and comfort. Once that initial need is filled, your child should easily migrate on to the next activity they wish to partake in with a positive outlook, versus indulging in activities where they act out negatively in order to get any ounce of attention they can from anyone willing to give it to them. Take these rare moments and live in the moment. If you struggle with giving your children individual attention, set a small goal to giving in to at least two times when your child asks something of you (that is not a need), for example. When you are faced with these moments, make a mental note and remind yourself to fully embrace your child and put your everything into what they are showing or giving you at that time. Remind yourself that you are building up your child’s self esteem as well as a trusting relationship between the two of you!
So, after reading all of this, comment below on one request you gave in to today and how it affected you (Were you anxious to get it over with? Were you overjoyed to spend one-on-one time with you child? Did you participate longer than you expected?)