By Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com
Nod if this sounds familiar. The second you start a phone conversation, one child or perhaps several children start talking to you as if you are giving them your undivided attention. You gesture quizzically at them, pointing your free hand to the phone in your ear wondering what part of this scene they are not understanding!
I don't know what the clinical explanation is – I've always chocked that behaviour up to a child just wanting to have their parents complete attention. Nothing wrong with that. It is an honour to be wanted that way, isn't it?!!
Over the years that has led me to increasingly spend “alone” or “one-on-one time” with each of them. And the older they get, the more I cherish that time. You truly learn so many things about them.
I'm convinced they have the “group personality” and the “individual personality”. When they are with siblings, they feel a need to vie for attention or grab the spotlight or impress the others or be the leader or be the follower. In other words they find their role and adopt it.
When alone, it's a completely different dynamic. They can be themselves fully.
I've noticed my 10-year-old who is fun-loving and high-energy suddenly becomes calm, cool and collected, introspective and reflective. My 12-year-old who is normally quiet and low-key, opens up when we spend time one-one-one. And my 6-year-old who is usually chatty, suddenly becomes more quiet and open to a two-way conversation!
In our crazily, harried lives, one-on-one time is a gem.
It is like an escape – an opportunity to shut out the noise and focus on one person, channel all your energies into that one little being. Whether it's a walk around the block, a bike ride, a jaunt to the mall or playing a game, zeroing-in on that child allows them to know they are appreciated and loved.
It's amazing how they look at you like you are the only person left in the world. It's truly a feeling to be treasured.
After all we book appointments to have one-on-one time with other people in our lives on a regular basis – why not with our own children.