The Importance of Giving Children Undivided Attention

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It has been impressed upon me just how important it is to spend FOCUSED one on one time with each child, everyday.

Kids don’t just want attention, they need it. If they don’t receive it from us, they will look for it elsewhere. They will also use negative attention seeking behavior to engage us when we are not filling them up with positive attention regularly. Who wants that?

I’m at home with my kids almost all the time, but that doesn’t mean I am constantly giving them attention. In fact, it is easy to be so busy with cooking, cleaning, teaching and training, that consistent “special” time gets overlooked.

By spending time with my children, without interruption or distraction, I am showing them that they are important.

My new goal is to take 10 minutes with each child sometime in the morning and then again in the afternoon or evening, and do something they enjoy. This doesn’t sound like much at all, but I can already see the benefits.

(I'm afraid it sounds like I don't normally spend time with my kids! I do! Just not in this consistent, predictable, uninterrupted way).

It's only been a week and they are already planning ahead for their next “Mommy” time.

So far it has been very simple. One child likes me to play catch, the other likes to talk and tell me about the book she is reading, the dream she had last night, or anything else that comes to mind.

(By the way, this idea came from the Positive Parenting Solutions course).

Giving them my un-divided attention is good for me too.

Even though I consider myself to be a decent multitasker, things become much more obvious when I’m just sitting there looking at my child and listening to what they have to say. Without the distraction of lunch to prepare, or email to check, I can see them more clearly. It helps me know and understand them more fully.

The illustrations in this post were drawn by my daughter and show us enjoying our time together. I like how happy we look.

I'm excited about this new habit. I think it is going to be one of the most effective tools in my Mothering toolbox.

What did you learn this week?

Pictures drawn by my daughter. 

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  1. First of all, I LOVE the drawings!! Your daughter did a fantastic job on them! 🙂

    It’s so funny because this is the same thing I am learning about this week and I’m reading “Keeping Our Children’s Hearts” by The Maxwells.

    I totally agree that our children will look for other ways of getting that needed “attention” if we don’t give it to them. Just like a marriage, relationships with our children require time together, alone. I’m looking forward to it this week!

  2. I’m very inspired by your post about one-on-one, undivided attention. I’ve been feeling like this was lacking, but I wasn’t sure where to start because it felt like feeling around for a lightswitch in a dark gym. But your idea sounds totally doable.
    Going to try it this week.
    We really need this at our house. I think it will inspired the kindess between all of us to go the distance. Thanks!

  3. What a great reminder! I’ve also discovered that when I take the time to spend deliberate fun time with my boys it causes me to slow down and be so thankful for the life that God has given me. When I’m rushing from task to task it’s so much easier to become discontent.

  4. Thanx for this post! We have four children under 5 years old, and between the constant housework and the constant demands, I have trouble spending focused time with them, let alone one-on-one! I’ve thought before about trying 10 – 15 minutes with each, but then feel like it should be more, feel guilty, and don’t do it at all. This post helped! I am a SAHM, too, so I know exactly what you’re referring to in that you’re around your children all the time, but not necessarily focused on them all the time. Thanx again!

    This is my first time on your blog, but I will definitely be back.

    1. Thanks Crystal. I appreciate you leaving me a note 🙂

      You are a busy lady with four children under 5 years old! I laughed when I read what you said about thinking 10-15 minutes was not enough time, then not doing it at all! I do that kind of thing too. We have to start somewhere. And 10 minutes is better than nothing (which you already know)!

      Your kids will love any time you give them.

      Blessings to you and yours 🙂