Thursday, November 6, 2008

Center of Attention Verbage-Pt 2

I left the kids at my sisters for 3 hours. I came back and 2 came up with hugs and smiles. The third walked into the room, looked at me, walked around the corner and into the playroom. I had to go, find her, ask for a hug and tell her I missed her.
Not even 2 weeks later, her grandfather came to visit from out of state. She had not seen him in several months. When she saw him, she ran screaming with delight and jumped into his arms. Now this would not seem odd in some families but she NEVER does this for my husband or me. I called her to my side and whispered in her ear, "you may not be the center of attention."  She apologized, and we went on with the day. Later that night, as I tucked her in we talked in detail about her inappropriate behavior. I explained that she did not need to pretend with her grandfather. He loves her and does not need her to be the center of attention. Then we talked about the day at her auntie's. I said how it made me sad that she did not even say hi. You are my baby and when we see each other, you need to say hi, give me a hug, etc.

Now when these moments arise, I will stop her and tell her to try again. When she tries to be the center of attention with someone in our more intimate circle, I will say,(even in front of that person), "Oh, you don't need to dance or yell or be the center of attention XX loves you because you are you."


Bill and Christina said...

More great insight! Thanks Cate.

kayder1996 said...

Reading both your post today and yesterday made me think that there are so many kids, both those with attachment stuff and those without, who struggle with being the center of attention. So much of the parenting piece is being intentional and deliberate, not just letting behaviors go and taking the time to explain why the behavior is inapporpriate and what you want to see instead. Speaking from a teaching standpoint, I see parents of all kinds of kids who just don't teach things like "you don't interupt a conversation" or "you don't get to spin around in circles and sing because you want me to look at you". It has to be specifically taught to some children, not necessarily punished but taught. It's one of those things that reminds me that discipline should be a learning experience.