“Mom, have you seen what I can do?” , “Look what a beautiful picture I’ve colored in!”, “Dad, look at me! I’m going to run at full speed!” … Our children constantly demand our attention. Parents are their best audience, and it is normal for them to like us to admire them, value what they do and make them feel proud.
It is essential that we engage the five senses when they demand our attention, as we have already talked on other occasions about how connecting with us helps you grow safe , confident and loved. We tell you about all the emotional benefits for children that parents pay attention to when they complain about us and how to do it to promote their autonomy and independence at the same time.
The sense of belonging; the foundation of a healthy self-esteem
In Babies and More we have spoken on numerous occasions about the importance of being part of a group for all human beings . Children, like adults, need to feel that belonging and connection with those around them , but especially with their parents, their main reference figures.
Connection helps children feel an important part of the family and grow safe and confident. Developing a proper sense of belonging is essential to have a healthy self-esteem.
Our children constantly seek to connect with us , although adults are not always aware of it. They seek our connection when they ask us to play , when they tell us something that happened to them at school, when they cry, when they want to help us, when they have a wrong behavior … or when they demand our attention so that we can look at them .
That’s why the phrase “Mom / Dad, look what I do!” it is so frequent in your day to day; especially in the first years of life. And it is normal that they want to show us anything new they learn , any skill they develop or any milestone they meet.
When they teach us what they do, they are not only reaching out to us and ensuring that sense of connection that we speak of ( “I need you to see me and pay your attention” ), but they are also strengthening their self-esteem and self-confidence, they feel motivated to continue to excel and also proud to show us what they know how to do or what they have learned new
In the end, all these benefits could be summarized in one : the feeling of well-being and happiness that comes from feeling loved, observed and taken into account. Because when mom and dad leave everything to focus on their child, the child feels important, satisfied, valid and above all, happy .
Do not order your children to obey, involve them
IN BABIES AND MORE
Do not order your children to obey, involve them
The importance of finding balance
pay attention to children
But when that “look what I do!” It is not something specific or anecdotal, but it becomes a need for the child to be constantly approved , it is possible that parents wonder how we should act. And it is essential to know how to find the balance, because otherwise, our child could become a person dependent on external judgment and / or addicted to praise.
Thus, if the child constantly demands our attention, parents can put the following tips into practice:
It may happen that our child is going through a streak in which he needs to feel especially reinforced in what he does or is experiencing changes that increase his insecurities. Therefore, the first thing we must do is analyze if that constant attention that you demand is due to a streak , in order to provide you with the proper emotional support that favors your confidence, self-esteem and makes you feel better.
Dive inside and think about how you react when your child demands your attention : are you one of those who always responds with a “very good” when he shows you something? If so, try using other types of constructive and positive phrases that, in addition to reinforcing your ties, encourage effort , autonomy and a critical spirit in the child .
It is also important to analyze how you feel when your child demands your attention excessively . And it is that this behavior can cause negative feelings in parents such as irritation or anger (“how heavy you are!”) Or a sense of guilt for not being able to always be aware of it . Given this, it is important to set limits to the child with respect, love and empathy , making him see that we care what he does and wants to show us and we will dedicate time to him as soon as we can.
It is also good for parents to “put the ball on their court” -as they say colloquially- and ask the child how he feels with that new skill that he has learned and is showing us, with that drawing he has made or with that the ability that he has developed to dance his top.
It is very positive for the child that his parents observe the things he does, but it is also very positive for him to feel proud of what he is capable of achieving for himself, without the need for others to constantly approve or applaud him.
In short, we have to help our children develop their sense of belonging by connecting with them daily and using the five senses when they demand our attention; Because feeling loved, heard and taken into account is key to your happiness and to have a healthy self-esteem. But at the same time, we must also promote their autonomy , confidence, security and independence, qualities that will be essential for life .