Give Your Child Your Undivided Attention During Playtime

A post called, My “Twelve Commandments” of Happy Parenting caught my attention this morning. I found the second commandment especially interesting. It read: “Never give a child your divided attention once you’re playing with them, unless it’s an emergency. That doesn’t mean you should give them your attention all the time. Far from it.”

I totally agree with this statement. In fact if I would be making my own parenting commandments, I would definitely have this on my list as well. I have always thought that children deserve nothing less than the full attention of their parents when they are with them. A lot of parents in today’s age prize productivity so much that they have come to believe that it is more beneficial to pair up playtime with their kids with some type of work-related activity.

I have seen a lot of parents in the park pushing their kids on the swing with one hand while the other hand is holding up the phone to their ear. I understand that things can get really busy for working parents; however, treating children this way is bound to have some negative repercussions in the long run. I believe it isn’t hard to see that when we do not pay attention to our children when we are with them, we are giving them the impression that they are not important to us. And although that may seem petty at a glance, this does a lot of damage to their self worth.

Parenting Tip: Paying It Forward with Your Toddler

Doesn’t it seem like every time you want your toddler to be quiet, they think it’s the best time to start crying or otherwise needing attention? It’s Murphy’s Law and it’s part of being a parent, and also part of life. However I read a post today that I think could help a lot of parents. “A Little Special Time in the Morning” is a post I read on Super-Protective Factor. The author has a different outlook on how to get your baby to calm down when you need to do chores or other business.

If it seems as though your child wants attention the most when you don’t have time to give it to them, you might want to try this “Special Time” technique. If you have something to do later in your day, take ten minutes to sit with your child and follow them as they do whatever they are doing. Even if they don’t directly interact with you, they will note the presence and feel wanted. After about ten minutes try getting up to go do your chore or get some work done, and gauge their reaction. Chances are they will be more okay with the fact that you aren’t paying full attention to them now because you did just a few minutes earlier. It’s worth a shot!