Purposeful Parenting: Paying Attention

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I was reminded last night that parenting is never a sure thing–just when you think things are going well, something comes up. It’s so important to pay attention to the little signs your children are giving you. 

Last week was really busy and although our family spent lots of time “together”, there was also a lot of time when the kids were watching a movie, swimming or some other activity in which they were not receiving one-on-one attention from me.

One of my teenage children came to me last night and after talking for a little while I discovered a surprising fact: this child thrives on individual attention and feels very unloved without it.

Even though I have written about knowing your children’s love languages and thought that I knew those of my children, this came as a surprise. I would have said this child felt loved with words of affirmation, but I would have been wrong.

Thinking back I did notice that this particular child was a little grumpy as the week continued, but I didn’t think much about it. If I had paid a little more attention, I would have realized that something was wrong.

This episode is just a reminder for me to pay closer attention to the kids during this upcoming super-busy season. Just because we do something as a family doesn’t mean that the children have received all that they need.


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  1. Mandi says

    You know as a full time mom (is there anything but that?) I have realized there are many days that even though I’m “with” my kiddos , I’m not actually with them. I too have to remind myself to be a little more engaged and actually spend time not just “with” them but doing something together with them where I’m fully engaged in what they are saying, giggling about, and thinking. Thanks for sharing!! and for keeping us all “humble” :)

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