Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dogs in Space and Annoying Children

I knew a mother of four who insisted that she never praised her children, otherwise they would become proud.  She made a point to tell them everything they did wrong to keep them humble.  Her children are grown now, and humble is not a word that would describe any of them.

Another woman had a mother who was always telling her she was so pretty, so wonderful, so perfect, but wouldn't take the time to help her buy appropriate clothes as her body changed and developed with adolescence.  The praise was meaningless if her mother didn't value her enough to spend time or money on this perfect daughter of hers.

Fake praise is like no praise,  and when we receive no praise at all, we can turn into irrational creatures.

Most of the really irritating children that you know, are just desperate for attention.  We criticize them for it, and yet if they were given the attention they truly needed, they would become much happier little people.  The contradiction is, that when they misbehave and act annoying, the last thing you want to do is give them attention!  You'd rather lock them in the basement until they fall asleep because they're so unbearable.

But just like a crying baby, that child is lacking an essential need, and even if he gets punished for his behavior, he'll keep it up because he craves any form of attention, even if it's negative.  And if the annoying child happens to be yours, you've got your work cut out for you.

"But I give him plenty of attention!" you may say in exasperation.  But perhaps the type of attention you think is enough, is not what he needs.  Every child needs personal time alone with mom or dad, just to bond.  They need to talk about all the crazy little thoughts that come into their mind and be heard and still loved even so.  They need you to respond to their crazy thoughts as if they weren't crazy, to help them sort through the whirlwind of ideas that blows through their mind every day.  Here's one example:

"So mom, like if our house turned into a space rocket and we found out that aliens were living in our basement, would dad be able to fight them even though he doesn't have a gun?  And then if we blasted off into space, how would we breathe?  And do dogs ever go to space?"  Etc., etc.

If your default response is, "Why are you wasting my time with these stupid questions?  Do your homework, and look at the mess in your room," you are on your way to creating a really annoying child.  The questions will never end, and behavior problems will increase.  I know, serious discussions about dogs in space are not what you planned on when you became a mother, but welcome to reality!

Smile, listen, talk, hear all that they have to say with patience, give suggestionanswer them with reassurances that no matter what disaster they can imagine strikes, that you will all be just fine because God is watching over you.  Give them hugs and kisses, tell them how smart they are, what an amazing imagination they have, and how proud you are that they are growing so well.  Also once you are done, thank them that they will now quietly go to their room and clean up and finish their homework for the night because they are so good and smart and strong.  It's amazing how just taking that amount of your precious time out of your day can be returned to you in the form of a calmer, happier, more obedient child who wants to please you even more.

Of course there is a time they need to be quiet and get their work done and to respect your need for quiet as well, but if their basic need for your undivided attention and sincere praise isn't met a few times during the day, though you punish and criticize them, but you will never have a peaceful child under your roof.

My youngest is 12, and he still needs those moments, but the reward of a loving son who is a joy to have around is worth all the effort.   Don't know what to say when asked about aliens in your basement?  Email me to receive expert advice...

17 comments:

Adeline said...

Thank you for this message Mrs Evelyn. Like you said we need to make time for childrean... I can think back when I was younger and I thought certain Dilemas that I had were so important but now I look back they really were not... so we can't loose sight of how a child sees thing.

Adeline (Sydney)

Bianca Moctezuma said...

This is true Mrs. E!
I can take this as an example for myself on how i used to be, well first my parents didn't really give me attention so, like at school, i would have a bad behavior,, etc and my purpose was just to get attention, the attention i never got.

Sibon said...

Though I am not a mother I found what you wrote helpful as I have now been given the responsibility of helping to take care of the kids aged 10-13 in my church. I have always said I am not a maternal type of person and I must admit being warm towards children has never come natural to me and I was always reserved so I see this new challenge as a way for me to change. I will be applying what I learned here and will let you know of the changes :-)

Evyna said...

As child effectively I would have liked that my mom is more attention with me, it would have us avoid having destroyed(annulled) itself, me returns grace has GOD because he changed things but as child it hurts if one day I had to be a mom I would know towards whom to advise to me thank you

Tania said...

I love reading these blogs because it gives me so much advice in how to deal with the kids in the Kids Zone. Sometimes I am baffled by the ideas they have, but I have learned (since i started years back) that they look for attention in all the places. If they dont receive it at home, I must do my best to give them that attention. I wouldnt like for them to search in the wrong places, especially when they hit that adolescent age. It also prepares me to be a mother in the future - be sure I'm writing all these tips down!

Edith said...

I was interested by the first few sentences of this Blog, and I agree completely. Sometimes I used to do the same thing with my little brother, I couldn't stand his questions, but then I realized that it was a wrong act. So I imagined the things along with him and he changed. He finds it easier to speak to me ^_^

tendai3000 said...

I found this message really helpful.It's actually for every person who at some point look after children.Some kids don't get the attention they need at home maybe because their parents are not aware of the outcome.I am a kids zone teacher and one of the things that I learnt is to listen to what children are trying to tell you.Some of the things they say don't even make sense but we just have to listen and you never know you could be one of the role model for that child.Children are the future so we have to be careful and be kind and warm towards them and they will definately grow up the right way.

Camilla Magalhaes said...

Mrs Evelyn, your blogs are very enjoyable to read! I remember when I was little I could go for hours asking my relatives questions, I must have driven them crazy! but surprisingly enough they would answer them all with love and care and give me lots of undivided attention. Despite of some personal problems I had since I did not know Jesus at the time, overall I was a very calm and obedient child that couldn't stand the thought of disappointing them. But in today's society parents seem to be so busy, kids are raised by babysitters, nannies or in front of a television and the result of that are rebellious, disobedient and attention-craving kids, this is a sad and true reality!

Aica Rosales said...

Good evening Mrs. Evelyn.
Thank you so much for this post.
Though I am not a mother :-) I really relate on this and see my self with my mother way back when I was a child. I really hope she read this blog that time:-)
But it is also helpful to me. It makes me to understand more the children. Something that will help me as well when I am with children as a Sunday School teacher for an instance. This is a very great help. Thank you so much Mrs. Evelyn.

Raquel Parras said...

It is very sad to see how some parents talk to their children in a way so hard, it seems as if they don´t have feelings or thoughs, all that greatly affects a child's personality and then sadly we see the consequences: rebellion, disobedience ...***

Gemma Leon UK said...

Thanks so much for these blogs Mrs Evelyn. You should write a book on parenting! It is really difficult for a woman of my age to make the decision whether to have children or not because there is so much negative press out there! These blogs have truly inspired me and shown me what a tough job it is to be a parent but with the right tools, attitude and methods, kids really will turn out okay! I’ve seen my mum do this and I am amazed at how my siblings and I turned out despite the trauma and tragedy we faced as children. Mothers, I salute you.

Lillian said...

This is true and I think it can be applied anytime when working with kids - in the Kids Zone for example. When we take time to give the kids attention and to praise them, they behave and listen to instructions much better than if we just give them something to do and ask them to sit. They are happier and more willing to listen.

missleon said...

I found this blog very, very helpful. I don't have any children of my own, but I work in the Kids Zone as a teacher and definitely encounter children like this! This blog helps to make clear what the route of this attention-seeking behaviour could be. Now I am considering what I can do to help for the small part of the day in which these children are under my supervision.

Andisiwe Mfenguza said...

Hi Mrs Evelyn

This blog will help me alot, though im not a parent but I have spiritual chidren, especially in my teenagers class in the church. I will now know how to be more alert and understanding in my class

s.hamy_ said...

If you don't make time for children. If we make time for them, that time that we give them is very special to a child.

Laura Perez said...

Even though I don't have children I can definitely use this advice in the Kids zone. Now I know how to answer a kids with interesting questions.

Noelia- NJ said...

I loved this blog Mrs.Evelyn. Kids have such a vivid imagination, and I actually love listening to my step kids funny stories and crazy questions, because I had them myself and my parents were always willing to listen and answer my questions. I never really felt silly asking them even if they were, because my parents never made me feel silly. I usually got positive feedback from them and encorouged. I can only hope to be the same with my soon to be born baby. Thanks for this blog.