What A Child Really Needs

A child gonna remember who was there not what you spent on them. A child can out grow a toy and outfit but never TIME and LOVE

We live in a busy world, with so much competing. Parents are under pressure of providing for children’s physical, medical, nutritional,educational and social needs. While we do all of these, we often overlook our children’s deepest needs; TIME & LOVE.

Most of my daughter’s dolls that I have bought and those that were gifted to her a few months ago are not in the same condition they were when she first had them. Some are missing a shoe, foot, arm and some have teeth bites, worse some of the dolls that she once cried so much to play with then, now she does not fancy anymore. She has outgrown them.

I realized that while it is good to provide for all my daughter’s needs, I should not neglect her deepest needs. I made changes in my life that helped me better provide for our child’s deepest needs.

Eliminate Distractions 

As a #WAHM (Work At Home Mom), I easily get distracted and trapped in the multi-tasking and work zone 24/7. I find myself checking and replying to emails, taking client phone calls, updating social media profiles, researching stuff on my PC or busy on my phone while feeding my toddler or even when cooking or baking with her.

Although I do get to kill two birds with one stone (achieve two things in a single action) but its all at an expense of spending quality time with my daughter

“One of the most under-rated gifts we can give to others, is our undivided attention. Next time you spend time with a loved one, really listen to them and watch light up when they realize you are being completely attentive to them.There is so much to be learned and experienced when we can become great listeners!” – Jaeda DeWalt

Giving your child undivided attention helps to boost their self-confidence,makes them feel that they are important to you and it also makes you the parent more aware of your child’s feelings and can easily relate to who they are.

Eliminate any form of distraction while spending time with your child

  • Unplug the wifi and connect with your daughter/family,
  • Switch off TV or PC
  • Disconnect from social media
  • Focus on your child and current task at hand

Set Boundaries

“If you permit the urgent to rule, you will lose time you can never recover or catch with your hands. What happens in the changing life of your child today will never be repeated. All the gold in the world cannot buy back either the little delights of the day or the big pleasure that happens without announcement to our plan. You simply have to be there.”

(Quotes from a book by Mac Anderson “To a child love is spelled Time: what a child really needs from you)

Setting boundaries has been one of the best ways for us that has assisted in making sure that we spend undivided time with our child. Here is a list of some our home boundaries:

  • No work related talks during family moments 
  • No use of phones during meals
  • No  use of phones during a family time
  • No watching videos on PC, Tablet, Phone or TV during meals
  • No use of phone while breastfeeding

Prioritize time spent with your child

A story is that I feel will really bring the point home is one told about a man who came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.
Son: Daddy, may I ask you a question?
Dad: Yeah sure, what it is? replied the man…
Son: Daddy, how much do you make an hour?
Dad: That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing? the man said angrily.
Son: I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?
Dad: If you must know, I make $50 (which 696.30 ZAR in SA’s current exchange rate )an hour.
Son: Oh, the little boy replied, with his head down.
Son: Daddy, may I please borrow $25 (348.15 ZAR)?

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don’t work hard every day for such childish frivolities.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

“Are you asleep, son?” He asked.

“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $25 you asked for…”

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.
The little boy slowly counted out his money and then looked up at his father.
“Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled.
“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.
“Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

Make time time to spend quality time with your child. 

How do you provide for your child’s emotional needs? Please do share your family boundaries/traditions that helps govern time spent with your child.

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2 years ago

That story is so sad. I’m guilty of checking my phone all the time and my daughter tells me to put it away Thank you for sharing

2 years ago

This is all so true and and a philosophy we try and follow with our daughter. It is hard tnot to be too distracted when we work from home. We have similar rules about not having phones at the dinner table and putting my phone and laptop away for portions of the day. I love the special times with our girl and don’t want work getting in the way of that.

Huma ali
2 years ago

This is true! We have started a new rule in the house, me and dad put our phones away on the mantle piece when with kids . But I’m still guilty of sneaking phone on me.. thanks for a reminder ! Will try and stick to the rule

2 years ago

Wow this is such a beautiful reminder! This brought me to tears! Thank you for sharing! I am always trying to find ways to separate time with family and work.

2 years ago

Love this post. I have been working on it myself to make the effort to stay off my phone. It’s really hard but I know how important it is to give that I decided attention. Thank you for this post.

2 years ago

A great reminder of what should be most precious!

2 years ago

This is why my phone is usually on silent and I rarely have my data turned on to ensure I don’t get distracted by notifications. The world is distracting. I always told my kids when they were younger and we were out shopping that I was putting the most important thing in the car first… them! I then would go back and put the material stuff in the vehicle. I’m far from perfect, but I really don’t want them to feel less important than a device. I believe I still need to put more consistent boundaries in place for myself when we are all at home as I definitely still get wrapped up in some online work on occasion.
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Talya Knable
2 years ago

This post is great!! It is so easy to lose sight of what our kids really need from us! But they thrive so much when we focus on them and their needs! Thank you for these reminders!
Talya Knable recently posted…Gift Guide for BabiesMy Profile

2 years ago

What a great parenting advise and words to live by, Being truly present is better than presents 🙂

Kristen Still
2 years ago

It is so true that physical belongings are not the most important things in a child’s life. Time and love go way further than toys! Thanks for sharing!

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