My three year old son, the Champ, is wild. Every morning he gets up around six thirty and he does not stop talking until eight o’clock in the evening. His brother is only three months old, so I am his only playmate. It is exhausting.
Over the last several months, he has become incredibly defiant. We have tried time-outs, rewards for good behavior, taking away toys, and spanking. Nothing seems to work.
One night, I decided to try something totally different. Before the Champ went to bed, I sent the rest of the family elsewhere and I got down on the floor with him and started to ask him about his day. We chatted for less than five minutes and when we were done I scooped him up, looked him directly in the eyes, and I told him that he was special to me.
After he went to sleep that night, I realized that I rarely take the time to listen to him. I talk to him all day long but I assume that because of his age, he does not have anything important to say.
Listening to my little boy talk about the “ice cream breathing dragons” in his room may have been a tad bit boring for my grown up mind, but it made him feel as if what he had to say was important. It made a huge difference in his behavior the next day.
I won’t say that he was perfect, but it was a start.
How do you take the time to show your child that he is a valued part of the family?