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What is the most beneficial way to reward your children?

Buy them a new toy? Allow them to stay up later? Let them watch a special TV show?

These may or may not have positive effects, but none of them can compare with the undivided attention of a parent.

Older children may deny that they require attention from their parents; however, it is possible to see the impact extra attention can have. With younger children, the results are often visible straight away. They respond with smiles and can be encouraged to try new things. Eventually you may notice an increase in your child’s self-esteem as they grow older.

Self-esteem is what we build in our children when we give them the attention they require. However, it is important to give children quality attention; just being around your child is not considered quality attention.

Let’s look at some examples. A Mom takes her kids to the movies with a friend and her children. When the movie is over, the Mom and her friend discuss the movie as the kids are left on their own. Even though Mom is with her children physically, she is not there emotionally. How could it have been different? Mom and her friend could have asked the kids for their opinions on the movie. The children would then have been involved in the conversation and noticed that they were the focus of their parent’s attention.

A Dad takes his son to sports practice. While watching the practice, it is tempting to socialize with other parents. But, he must be aware that as children practice, they look to see if their parent(s) are watching what they are doing and they want their parents to focus their attention on them. It is so easy to get distracted by other adults who are enjoying engaging in conversation. One way to focus your attention back to your child without being rude is to direct the attention of the other parents to their own children. While your child is not the only subject of your attention, by giving attention to your child, it will be gratifying to note the elation that you will see on his or her face. tj




新しいおもちゃを買ってあげる?遅くまで起きていること を認める?特別なテレビ番組を見させてあげる?

こうしたインセンティブが効果的かどうかはさておき、い ずれも親が子供にしっかり目を向けることとは比べようも ありません。

子 供は大きくなると、親が自分に注目することを拒むかも しれません。しかし、親の注目は必ず効果をもたらします。 子供が小さければ、その結果はストレートに現れます。子 供は笑顔を見せ、新しいことに挑戦しようとするでしょう。 子供が大きくなれば、子供の自尊心の高まりが感じられる かもしれません。

自尊心は、自分が望む注目を与えられてはじめて子供の中 に芽生えるものです。ここで重要なのは注目の質です。単 に子供のそばにいるだけでは十分とは言えません。

例を挙げましょう。母親が友人親子と一緒に子供を映画に 連れて行きました。映画が終わった後、母親たちは映画に ついて語り、子供たちは会話から取り残されています。母 親は物理的には子供と一緒にいますが、気持ちの上では離 れています。どうすれば状況は違っていたでしょうか。母 親たちが子供に映画の感想を求めていれば、子供たちも会 話に加わることができ、親の関心が自分にも向いているこ とが感じ取れたでしょう。

父親が子供をスポーツの練習に連れて行きました。子供が 練習するのを見ている間、父親は他の親たちとおしゃべり に興じる誘惑に駆られます。しかし、練習中の子供は親が 自分の姿を見ているかどうかを気にかけ、自分に集中して ほしいと思っていることを忘れてはなりません。会話を楽 しんでいる他の大人たちについ気をとられてしまいがちで すが、失礼にならないように自分の子供に関心を戻すには、 他の大人も自分の子供に注目するよう仕向ければいいので す。親の関心の全てが子供に集中するわけではありません が、しっかり目を向けることで子供の顔が輝くようになる のは喜ばしいことです。tj

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Written By:

Lorraine Al-Jamie

A United States House of Representatives Congressional Recognition Award Recipient, Lorraine is a retired licensed Marriage Family Therapist that specializes in assisting parents acquire skills that enhance their ability to raise high-functioning and happy children. She, herself, is a mother of 5 and grandmother of 10 and has spent the last 30 years helping young parents, children and adolescents work through their varied and many challenges. Prior to specializing in parenting, Lorraine worked for two decades treating children and adolescents at an out-patient center affiliated with Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in Long Beach, California. She has concentrated on teaching parents methods of interacting in ways that enhance the child's or adolescent's ability to make positive and effective choices. Parenting challenges often fluctuate between feeling helpless and somewhat ineffective, to heavy-handed and authoritarian. Being able to be an effective parent is a skill which needs to be learned and supported, and Lorraine has assisted parents by focusing on positive discipline approaches that assist in maintaining healthy relationships in the family while parents stay in charge of their children. Lorraine has helped parents deal with behavioral problems, impulse control problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity issues, compulsive behavior, dissociative disorders, trauma, relationship issues, depression, anxiety or fears, loss or grief and school problems.


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