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Kick here, kick there, it’s not the same for us Mom come play!

kidsparents2 years3 yearsFeuilletonLenka Míkovcová4 years1 yearmotivationcooperationplayaggressionborekiking

You know what I mean. A well-aimed hit to the nose or back, or a bite on the back of your thigh. You would flip out each time, but you can’t. Your little darling is barely 2 years old and he’s already acting up. He “pleads” for attention, he wants to play, needs you to look at what he has accomplished, has constructed, wants you to read him his favourite book…. It starts occurring around 18 months of age and continues up until the child is three or four years old. It’s still alright at a year and a half, but at three years old, your darling already has some strength and so you think about what to do about it.

We discovered that each one of these “attacks” is a scream for attention. “Come play!” We try to survive such an “attack” from our offspring, cool down the offended affected reaction (physically and psychically) and change the moment into playtime as soon as possible. It usually works and then you unconditionally remind him that instead of a kick, it would suffice to say “Mom come play”, and we clarify when we are going to play. It takes a while, but it works in the end.

To allow such behaviour to go unnoticed is ill advised. The child needs to realize there will be a reaction to his behaviour, so that his personality can grow. If we don’t notice what he’s doing, it’s like saying you can’t even see him.

I would still like to add that the tips of experienced psychologists often lead to parents planning a regular time with children in the week, when you two devote yourselves to each other (ideally without a mobile phone in the pocket). The time of play and the sole focus of attention to your child are then strictly given and he knows what time to look forward to, when he can expect your undivided attention. You can in contrast refer to this time when you need to calmly finish something and propose a different activity.

April 2011

Author: Lenka Míkovcová

Translation: Marek Hubbell

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