Born 14 years after me , We felt the need to give Abdul all our attention and give in to his every whim and fancy as we weren’t always at home with him. Years later , we have a 10 year old who needs help with almost everything from brushing in the morning to getting to bed at night !
I don’t know where you might find yourself and where your children are on the attention scale, but their need for attention is sort of like Goldilocks’ perfect bowl of porridge… Not too hot! Not too cold! But JUST RIGHT!
Naweed and I , we’ve had a different upbringing .
He has been working and earning since he was a teenager ! He even paid for his own degree. I’ve been looking after myself since I was 7 , as both my parents were working. Our circumstances were different, we’ve never had the privilege of too much attention. Never neglected but also never faced the danger of too much ‘attention’ !
We think this was best for us and owe it to the people we are now.
It lead me to think , how much attention is too much ? Can we really spoil our kids by looking after them too much ?
Is it time we throw out the saying “parents should pay as much attention as they can to their children.” ?
These days , it is quite easy to go overboard on attention. The problems are not apparent in the beginning but within a few years, it is a serious problem.
When many children are suffering from neglect, it seems strange to imply that too much attention can be a problem. There will never be enough of anything . When this happens, frustration follows for both you and your child. Parenting is hard as it is , It’s definitely worse with a demanding , frustrated and insecure child. But that’s just what too much attention does
We’ve learnt from our mistakes. Should paying attention and helping your child every step of the way be the no. 1 priority as a parent ?
– Nope !
– Oh you didn’t wash your face properly? It’s okay , you can learn to do it right.
– You want me to feed you ? I would love to but you need to eat by yourself.
– Taking 2 hours to dress yourself ? It’s okay we can wait but can’t help you.
– You forgot to take your lunch box to school ? Sorry I can’t remind you , you need to do it yourself.
No more do your homework and no more you need to wash your hand !
Let them do it themselves, sometimes as a mother I know it’s difficult and much easier to help that child who take hours to do anything but at what cost ? We are ruining them by helping them with every trivial chore. Let them learn to do it themselves and sometimes as a parent , you need a breather too !
While we don’t want them to feel like you’re ignoring them but also would not want them to think your world somehow revolves around theirs. Finding the perfect balance is important.
Yes, you may feel horrible saying no to them, think you’re too harsh or the fact that they are just little kid! Brush aside these excuses for the truth is children are masters of manipulation. All they need is to sense your doubts and bam , you have a tantrum to deal with.
So we are seeing change, little by little. It’s time we all realized that we need to step back and let our child grow. As water helps the seeds grow , too much water can also suffocate that very seed.
With all of this in mind, I propose the revival of a rather traditional thought: While their proper upbringing is a big deal, children themselves are not.
So don’t give attention to your children, give attention to their upbringing!
Do you feel guilty and like a bad parent saying ‘NO’ to your kids ?
What’s your take on giving attention and helping them ?