It is no small developmental feat to raise a child who will be able to find their own way in the world as an adult.…
It is natural for a child to demand attention in a myriad of ways from physically clinging to us, emotionally demanding our focus with eruptions, or simply telling us – “I need some Mommy time.” The problem is not with their hunger for connection but rather in how it is fulfilled. Giving a child what they ask for and simply responding to their demands doesn’t help them rest in our care, in fact, in can make them more restless and insatiable. They were not meant to be in charge of commanding our attention but rather taking it for granted. Debates on the quality vs. quantity of time misses the mark and traps us into conversations about time spent instead of focussing on the invitation given to a child. Relationships cannot be broken down into units of time and seconds. What is missing in these units of measurement is whether we impart a desire to be with a child, a warmth that comes from being together, and a genuine enjoyment that our time is well spent with them. If our time with a child is based on counting down minutes or moving from one event to the next, then time becomes the unit of measurement instead of the emotions between us. What we need to ask is:
The old adage that a child is simply trying to get some attention doesn’t understand this instinctive hunger for connection.
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