There are many emotions involved with daily parenting and sometimes, it may feel like you’re constantly questioning your actions, your decisions and even your skills as a parent. One of the biggest things that can play on the minds of all parents is whether you’re giving your child enough attention.
How can attention be defined as parent? It doesn’t have to be as time consuming as activities like reading or playing. It can be something as simple as laughing at a really bad joke or nodding enthusiastically as they tell you about a character that you’ve never heard of.
There can also be the ‘flip side’ when your child is demanding your time, whether through misbehaving or by being clingy.
Here are some questions you may ask yourself, with some community answers that may reassure you.
Do I play with my child enough?
Every child is different, with deferent needs and socialisation skills, depending on their age. It’s great to play and engage with your child, whatever age they are, but it’s also important to let them learn and play independently. This will help develop your child’s independence.
Do I read to my child enough?
Reading is a big part of a child’s development. Even from a very young age, babies can engage with books and they love listening to your voice as you read to them. However, this is something that should be fun for everyone, so don’t put pressure on yourself. Rushed reading is worse than no reading. Do it when you have time to relax and enjoy it.
Do I teach my child enough?
Every day is an adventure when you’re young and there are things to be learned all around us. You don’t need to have a structured learning agenda with your little ones, everything you do will be teaching them things. As you go about your daily life, chatting away to your children, you’re imparting knowledge upon them.
Do I praise my child enough?
Even without thinking, many parents say things like: ‘well done’, ‘good boy”, “good girl, ‘you’re so clever’, ‘thank you’, ‘that’s great’. Something as simple as solving a puzzle, brushing teeth well or tidying away toys can be a natural occurrence that isn’t necessarily seen as a big thing, but is praised.
Do I put too much pressure on myself?
Probably yes. Giving your child attention doesn’t have to be as extreme as sitting down to play with them for an hour, it can be as simple as responding with ‘yes’ when they call your name.
There’s also such a thing as too much attention, children need to learn to develop skills independently. They need to be able to cope without you being there constantly and learn to play contently on their own.