Last week I was strolling in the local shopping mall and saw a mother with her child and an older lady, who was probably the child’s grandmother. I didn’t know what was going on, but all of a sudden, I heard the mother say to the older lady in an irritated fashion: “Oh, don’t mind him, he just wants attention”.
I was flabbergasted to hear this remark. I often notice many parents are able to see their child wanting attention, and neglecting their need for sleep or food. At the same time, there are very few people who respond to behaviour like that effectively, at least in my opinion.
At times, I would like to shout from the rooftops:
What is wrong with a need for attention???
The need for attention is a basic need for people. It is very similar to a need for food or a need for sleep. I love to be seen and/or heard by others. We all want to be seen and heard by others, am I right?
Every human being wants to be seen and heard by others. Your child is one of those, and YOU are his favourite person!!!
When your child has a lack of attention and is, for one reason or another, unable to get attention positively, he or she will find a way to get attention negatively, no matter if that means getting you angry or causing harm. So, when your child needs attention, please, by all means, GIVE your child attention!
Unfortunately, many parents think that their children will become spoilt if they take their needs into consideration. They decide to deprive their children of their needs. They think when the child has unmet needs and the child therefore becomes angry and frustrated, the child will learn to take others into consideration.
Unfortunately, this is NOT true at all!!!!!
No person in the world would love to raise an egotistical and spoilt child, but deprivations and frustrations often have the opposite effect. A child with unmet needs receives the message that meeting somebody’s needs is not important. So, your child will learn to ignore other people’s needs as well. A child whose needs are met, learns that filling somebody’s needs is very important. The capability to take others into consideration is nurtured by whether needs are met.
On top of that: children will never ask for more than they need. Honestly.
Mind you, there is a big difference between a need and a solution. Relaxation is a need, and having a private computer is a way of meeting this need, also known as a solution, but not the only solution, because sports activities, reading a book or talking with a friend are all solutions that help to fulfill the need to relax. If you consistently keep giving all wants (i.e. solutions) to your child, yes, the chances are you will raise a spoilt child. If you continuously meet the needs of your child, your child will become satisfied, patient, peaceful, altruistic and eager to learn.
And who does not want a child like that?
So, if your child falls on the floor tomorrow when you’re in the supermarket because you don’t want to buy another bag of candy, what are YOU going to do?