“They’re just doing that for attention!”
Somehow when you hear this admonishment you’re supposed to take that as a cue to ignore your child.
Which is deeply weird.
If your child is doing something for attention…
And they are communicating that SO clearly…
SO clearly that EVERYONE can tell…
Then how about you just give them some attention!
Why would you think, “They want attention. Better not give them any!”
I know why. It’s because our culture does not believe that children’s needs matter. It’s because we’ve built up some toxic ideas about who deserves what and how much.
But look, forget that shit! You don’t need that. Your child doesn’t need that.
Your child needs YOU, and hey! They’re pretty good at letting you know!
You could rejoice! Be happy that they need you. Be excited that they communicate so clearly. Be honored to be the one who can meet their needs.
When your child is hungry, feed them.
When they are thirsty, give them some water.
When they are sleepy, help them rest.
When they are scared, comfort them.
When they are happy, laugh with them.
When they need help reaching something up high, give them a boost.
When they have a lot to carry, offer them a hand.
When they fall, catch them.
When they need a friend, be their friend.
And when they need attention, give them your attention!
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