Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Importance Of Noticing

I have been thinking a lot about the importance of noticing.
There are so many obviously important points to parenting, love, affection, discipline, education, etc. but I think that the importance of noticing is often, well …. Unnoticed.
I have come to believe that noticing and letting your kids know that you do is one of the most important parts of parenting!
When the little one repeats a word or tries to say what you did, in that mixed up baby way, Pay attention! Make sure that they know that you understand that they are trying to communicate. It is our enthusiasm that makes them want to try again. When Emma started saying “gee” for scared and “dadoo” for water, it was important that I learn what she meant by them. It was important that I let her know that communication is what’s important and that it excites me when she talks to me!
I find myself pointing things out to others all of the time. I am constantly saying “did you see that?”
When they try to walk like daddy, notice, when they say a word, notice, when they bring their plate to the kitchen, notice, when they look like they are going potty, notice, when they nurse their baby, fix their little car or any of a hundred little steps that mean they are NOTICING YOU, notice and celebrate!
Our approval is what motivates our children to continue learning. If no one pays attention to a child who’s talking sounds like jabber than they will not think it important to clarify. If daddy isn’t proud when little man (or even our little girl) follows him around trying to copy each step, then he will not find following IN daddy’s steps to be important.
We, as parents, get very busy and distracted. There is usually something to do, or some noise in the background, drowning out the little things. Let’s try harder to stop and notice our children, as they go about the business of growing up, and let them know that you did!
Tammy S.


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