Let’s go back in time.  Way back!  Or maybe, not so far! But, think about the moments you needed something; not a toy, play time, or sleep.  You found you needed something more. Something that wasn’t always easy to get, especially if you were raised with siblings. It involved some demands from the people who parented you.  Quick answer?  Attention!……….     It was what you wanted and needed.  Not for any long period of time.  Just a moment for someone to hear you or talk to you, coupled with an arm around your shoulder.   Maybe a look with an “I love you” or even acceptance of a positive behavior that got noticed  –  praise!

We may not have even identified that we were in need.  We have all realized that we often acted out when the attention we got was just not what we were looking for.  Acting out could have meant some kind of physical display or a retreat into ourselves to some place we thought was free of others; or we may have maintained a silent retreat.  It was when we learned that love isn’t always demonstrated the way we want it to be.  To think in retrospect about those times is liberating, because we know they existed and maybe this is the first time we thought about our behavior as a part of  our emotional past.

Now!…… Fast forward to today and put into perspective that our children are in the presence of those feelings and going through exactly the same thing right now in their own lives.  They want attention, but don’t know they want it.  Yet, they do know when they don’t get the right kind.  But children don’t understand the complications of emotions. Their psyche says they need something, so they go about trying to get it the best way they can.  And we, as seasoned veterans of emotions, should be aware of their quest, because we know we experienced the same thing.

I’m especially aware of it because I was a single parent and bombarded with the responsibilities of parenthood without help.  Many of you know what I mean.  I’m sure I missed a lot of moments when I could have handled things with a hug and some special time. But, I do know that while you’re living life and being a parent you often miss seeing things through your kids eyes and tending to their specific needs, the greatest being recognition.  As much as I did give, I always wished I could have given more.  But here I am, so many years later, in the fastest time possible.  It was not easy; the greatest challenge of all my life.   But my parenting role is over and I  am fortunate to have a great relationship with all my children – friendship.

No matter what the state of the world. No matter the number of games created to help occupy our children’s time.  No matter the involvement in sports we help our children undertake. No matter the other things that can take up a child’s life…….our children, now and in generations to come, will always need our loving hugs, positive attention, and validation that they are worth something special; our love, time, and attention.

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