Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

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Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by eddie on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:09 pm

Great article, and one I have always truly known and stood by.
Would like to hear other's thoughts.


Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Proud, happy parents enjoy their children and do not mean to harm them yet too much attention can do just that.

In these days of smaller and smaller families, it is quite easy to go overboard on attention. The problems are not apparent in the beginning but within a few years, an attention-addicted child is a serious problem.

When many children are suffering from neglect, it seems strange to imply that too much attention can be a problem. For children, too much attention can produce many of the same behaviors seen in attention-starved youngsters. Both extremes produce demanding, insecure children. The neglected child is never sure of love since he has never experienced it. The attention-addicted child is insecure due to a fear that the attention will stop.

Attention Addicted

If a child is always the center of attention and adult needs and rights are totally ignored, the child will become attention-addicted. There will never be enough. When this happens, parents become frustrated and angry with the child and the attention continues, but in negative ways. To a child, attention is attention, regardless of it's character.

Masters of Manipulation

When parents try to do other things, the attention addicted child will develop very manipulative behaviors to maintain the interaction. Some children became extremely demanding and aggressive, others become passive and helpless. They do whatever works for them. In the end, the child is truly dependent and unhappy since there is never enough attention to satisfy the child.

There are basically two ways this happens:

Every parent thinks their child is adorable and wonderful, but some parents gain personal satisfaction by showing everybody else their family star.
If a child is displayed at every opportunity and urged to perform, the problems can begin. The performance may be evidence of precocious behavior or learned tricks. A child who learns to exist in the spotlight will have a difficult time when the spotlight is turned off. The greatest problem will be in sharing the spotlight with the next sibling.

Children do not need to be dressed like little dolls and adored. They need to loved and given the opportunity to be part of the family, not the star of the family. Children need to be respected and not exhibited.

The second path to attention-addiction is taken by parents who give up all their rights for the sake of the child.
Parents can avoid this trap by maintaining a life of their own and respecting their own rights. Insisting that a child sleep in their own bed for instance, is a positive step toward that child's independence. Insisting that a child go to bed at a reasonable hour is also a good thing to do. Parents need private time. It is healthy for a marriage and healthy for the child to understand that there are limits and parents need time for each other.
Providing a child a book to look at while Mom or Dad reads a grown up book is a good thing to do. There are times to read to the child and there are times for parents to read to themselves. If a parent refuses to stop (even though comprehension may be hopeless with a preschooler screaming at one's knees), the child will learn to respect the parent's right for personal time.
Children should not be allowed to interrupt adult conversations. They can be taught how to let their presence be known without interrupting. Show a preschooler how to lay one hand on the adults arm or leg and wait patiently until the adult can speak with the child. By covering the child's hand with one's own, the child understands that the parent knows he is there.
Parents must not give in by lecturing the child on not interrupting and then saying, "What do you want?" The child who is allowed to interrupt, will continue to do so as long as he gets the adults complete attention.

Mom and Dad may need to go into their room and lock the door to keep a child from interrupting their conversation. If they do, the child will learn that it is better to be quiet and with Mom and Dad than to interrupt and be without them.

We must pay attention to our children. They cannot thrive without it. At the same time, we harm our children if we do not set limits. By respecting our own rights, we teach our children to respect us. We also prevent the damage that attention-addiction can do to a child and the family.

http://www.healthyplace.com/parenting/challenge-of-difficult-children/too-much-attention-as-bad-as-too-little/

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Re: Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by eddie on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:50 pm

Well said major. It's true, we end up loving children so much we simply spoil them, but I have always been such an independent person and one of the most important lessons I have taught my children is self-reliance and allowing them to feel "bored". It's important that they learn how to find something to do, that they don't seek their happiness through someone else giving it to them.

I think it's essentially important, actually.

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Re: Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by Syl on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:19 pm

I love topics like this...they are so interesting.
I do think children can be given to much attention, which can encourage them to become spoiled brats.
I bet we all know parents who brag about their kids in front of them, making the kids think they are somehow superior to other kids, because the parent believes that and it obviously rubs off their offspring.

I don't think you can love a child too much, because love is impossible to regulate.....but I do think you can spoil a child by giving it too much attention, or buying it everything it wants....and I believe that's ultimately bad for the child.

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Re: Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by eddie on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:37 pm

I agree Syl. I'm not talking about love I'm talking the relentless need to make sure they have everything and really, most children have more than enough.
Also, I noticed that leading up to Christmas all these mothers were waffling on about "Christmas eve boxes" where you supply your child with a gift of a wrapped box containing new pyjamas, a DVD to watch, chocolates and a cup to drink hot chocolate from....I mean, really???
And then!
There were some mums who went one step further and was suggesting the "twelve special days of treats" leading up to Christmas!??

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Re: Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by Syl on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:52 pm

eddie wrote:I agree Syl. I'm not talking about love I'm talking the relentless need to make sure they have everything and really, most children have more than enough.
Also, I noticed that leading up to Christmas all these mothers were waffling on about "Christmas eve boxes" where you supply your child with a gift of a wrapped box containing new pyjamas, a DVD to watch, chocolates and a cup to drink hot chocolate from....I mean, really???
And then!
There were some mums who went one step further and was suggesting the "twelve special days of treats" leading up to Christmas!??

Thankfully the Christmas eve boxes were not around when my son, grandsons were smaller, Christmas eve should be full of anticipation, not another excuse to buy new stuff. The thing is when one kid gets this his/her friends will want it too, and I think some parents hate to say No......but No is a good word when you have kids.
Do you think some parents overcompensate by buying lots of stuff to make up for other things?

It's a fine line between wanting your kids to have the things you didn't and making them happy....to spoiling them, either with attention or material goods.

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Re: Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by eddie on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:57 pm

Overcompensation for not spending enough time perhaps? Money is easier to give, for some people, than time and attention.

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Re: Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:05 am

Idea

A CLASSIC case of "overcompensation" that always comes to mind, when people are talking about parents spoiling their kids to make up for long absences, or feeling that they aren't giving their brood enough attention ==

When I was at high school, there was this one boy a year or two below me, whose father was a Merchant Seaman, away from home for months at a time --  he spoilt his 14 or 15 year old son by buying him a full size Suzuki enduro motorcycle (like those that currently retail around $10--12k !!!).

present

And, an example of "one upmanship" parents spoiling their kids ==

Late 1980s, a former schoolfriend told me about his 8 year old son going out to meet some local/neighbourhood friends on Boxing Day, when they were comparing their new bicycles..

Where most of them had new BMX or small mountain bikes in the $$couple hundred to few hundred $$ range, this one spoilt brat turned up with a competition level BMX worth a few $grand$ !

For an 8 year old, not a competitive rider, who would outgrow it in only a few years --  if he didn't lose interest first..       Rolling Eyes

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Re: Children: Too Much Attention -- As Bad as Too Little

Post by nicko on Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:10 pm

Or, it wasn't nicked !
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