Yes. This week I’d like to deal with the issue of attention. I’m not sure I understand exactly why it seems to be such a problem for us adults.
How many times have you heard a grown-up explain away, or dismiss, a child’s behaviour on the grounds that they are, “just doing it for attention” and have you ever stopped to think about what underpins that dismissal?
We can all be guilty of losing sight of just how intensely our children take on board the troubles of the world.
Some of you may have read the blogpost comprising interviews with F and her son L, published July 22nd.
I was truly moved by how upset L was by the plight facing Syrian refugee children. It’s so easy to forget how deeply our children absorb and react to world events.
It can be easy to underestimate young children’s ability to utilise memory, perhaps because as adults we find it so hard to remember the early days of our own lives. However research, and recent developments in neuroscience, show us that young children are laying down memories all the time.
Recently I’ve been pondering how much harder we make everything by assuming that we know best, and our children need protecting from themselves.
I’m not sure how we got here. How did we get to a place where our initial reaction to what our children tell us, is often suspicion? Or rebuttal.
In a recent online conversation, a parent wrote this to me about her son:
“My job, I feel, is to encourage him. Build his confidence, not push his boundaries, therefore I practise believing him and believing in him. Who am I to break his dreams, fantasies and ponderings? What if he’s right and a Zombie apocalypse is nigh and we should prepare? What if his fear is justified? His pain is real and his worries make him stop still.