Did you know, undivided attention is the purest form of generosity?
Did you know the most important thing your child needs from you (on a daily basis) is your ‘undivided attention?’
Yes, they do! Irrespective of their age, children NEED undivided attention. The way human beings need ‘oxygen’ to survive, children need undivided attention to thrive.
The love you have for your children is beyond question. As a parent, you must be making 100 sacrifices every day for your children. We salute you for being a parent. Congratulations! However, sometimes, embroiled in our routine and struggles, we postpone giving them undivided attention.
We always have so much ‘to do’ on our list. Our days are packed with work, social time, personal time, sleep time etc. We set aside time & energy for almost everything that we consider important in our life. Sometimes, emergencies take over and important things get ignored. One of those important things that get ignored becomes ‘undivided attention’ to our children.
Kids learn new things every day. Some at school, some from friends, some by observation. While they are taking these little steps, while they are exploring life & growing up, we are busy with our routines and are missing out on the some beautiful & joyous moments as a parent.
Here is an appeal...take out time for them, set aside some trivial tasks & make them a priority, give them undivided attention on a daily basis even for a short span of time, you would be then rewarded with an opportunity to see them laugh, & you would feel a spring of happiness flowing within.
You might be thinking, “Arre baba, we know our kids need attention” but how to create time?
Anything at all that keeps us away from attending to the child when they need us, makes them feel unimportant and unwanted.
We understand, as a working parent, you do not have a lot of time during the day to sit with your children. But in the evening when you return home, you should be able to take out time and give attention to your children.
Make the kids feel that they can confide in you. Be their confidante’.
Let’s look at a few examples
Sometimes it might happen that during the morning when your kid wakes up, you are busy in the kitchen preparing food for the day. There is no physical contact like a good morning hug. We understand that you have a really tight morning schedule. However, here is a suggestion.
Stop everything that you are doing, and give them a warm lively hug for 30 seconds, at least 5 ‘thiruvanthapurams’. It would make them feel lively and fresh. It will make their day.
Let’s do it from tomorrow onwards, what say?
When the child is going to school, he might say “I am going to school, bye”. Busy with your work you might be absentmindedly replying, “Okay, study well”. Even though you have all the love in your heart, a child does not feel connected with such a reply.
So, what can you do?
Squeeze in approximately 5 mins to give them a hug, & see them off from your balcony where you can wave at them. This small gesture shows to your child that you care. Soon it will become a habit for both of you, a goodbye ritual of sorts. It will help you stay connected & create beautiful memories.
Our children need encouragement, reinforcement, security. When we see them off, they go to their schools, classes etc with a feeling of having you as their safety net. No matter what, you will be around. Kids need to feel important & secure.
Your child comes back from school and says, “I did not have a good day at school”. As a father are you ready to switch off the TV or leave your phone and give your child undivided attention? We understand that after a really long day you want some time to yourself. But if you keep looking at the TV, the child will feel that his life, his struggles, his pains are not so important. Hence, giving undivided attention in such a situation is necessary for the children.
You don’t want the child to feel less important right? Leave everything for just five minutes and listen to the child giving him undivided attention. Help your child sort out his/her issues with you. Tell them everything is going to be okay. Cheer them up.
With our extremely busy schedules, our interactions with our kids have become absent-minded because we hardly have the mind space to be completely involved.
a) Can you think of any incident in the immediate past where you actually had time to give your kids undivided attention?
b) How would you feel when you are talking, someone looks at you, listens with attention, their eyes shine with encouragement?
Try answering these questions to understand ’Why every child needs & deserves undivided attention?’
Undivided attention is all about listening, saying words of encouragement, & empathising with your child. Give them undivided attention, even if it is for 5 minutes, They will then open up to you like never before. As a result, both of you will bond at a level which you might not have experienced earlier.
Remember, sometimes our children don’t come to us for a solution, they just want us to listen to them.