I am forever debating in my head if I’m giving enough attention to my child.

Being a SAHM I am around my child most of the time in the morning preparing her for school, dropping her at the bus stop, picking her up in the afternoon, helping her with homework and also putting her to sleep. Not to forget the time spent trying to keep her fed and playing with her.

In terms of invested time and energy, I’m investing 65% of what I have on weekdays and perhaps 80% on weekends. But, still, there are occasions when Pari complains “Mumma you aren’t paying attention to me.”

Are you paying enough attention to your child? As a SAHM mom,​ I thought I was​ until this happened. Read my full story to know more. #theerailivedin #parenting #singlemom #positiveattention #momlife #SAHM #kids #children #parentingtips #positiveparenting​

The first time she told me this, my eyes popped out & my jaw dropped in disbelief. In my head, I muttered, “What on earth does paying attention means for a 4-year-old?

Initially, I dismissed it as a one-off thing on my child’s part and soon forgot about it. But hardly a day or two had passed when Pari said the same thing again.

This time, I chose to stop whatever I was doing and get to listen to her point of view.

After beating about the bush when Pari finally got to the point, these were her words, “Mumma I’m not saying you don’t do enough for me, but when you are with me, you aren’t paying attention to me.”

“You are busy staring on your computer screen, rushing me around in the time you’ve got free but you are not really listening to what I have to say or seeing what I’ve to show.”

“Love is more than just a feeling: it’s a process requiring continual attention.” ~Molleen Matsumura

I promised Pari to think about it and change my ways and couldn’t help but probe myself deeper to see why Pari had been feeling so.

I ran the events of the day and also the past few days in my head and this was what I found. I work from home and that makes my working hours rather erratic. I don’t have a defined schedule hence while I am spending time with my child, in my mind, I am busy drafting articles and checking my iPad at every beep.

This behaviour isn’t going unnoticed by my child. When I’m in the middle of an article and Pari approaches me for something, I do respond but mostly with my one eye or my mind still glued to the computer screen.

There is so much talk about quality time and quantity time spent with children.

In my case, I believe I’m investing a lot of time in my child, but the reality isn’t exactly so in Pari’s eyes.

There was a dearth of positive attention.

What is positive attention?

Positive attention is how we express our joy and warmth in our relationship with our children, through simple loving gestures.

Simply smiling lovingly, touching caringly, showing interest in our child’s interests, activities and achievements and so on.

Why is positive attention SO important?

Like each one of us, our little people look out for signs that show them they are valued, capable, wonderful beings that bring joy to others by what they do and who they are.

And we caregivers of the children in our families are the key persons whom our children look up to for determining their value, nurturing their self-confidence and most importantly help build their self-image over time.

It took me a long time to realise that,

The behaviour(s) that I most promptly reacted to with my most focused attention, were the ones my little one repeated most often. 

THIS was why, if I stopped, put everything I was doing down to check my child’s screaming or drumming, she was sure to repeat it whenever she wanted my undivided attention.

Armed with this understanding, I knew I had a lot of work to do. And I did just that.

One day I chose to sit with Pari while we chit-chat about how our day has been to get her views on what kind of attention she craves for.

After a few days, when I had won over her confidence that ‘Mom was truly interested in knowing what she craved for’ things began to change dramatically from then on.

I still have the same 24 hours in my day.

I still work the same as before.

The only difference is that,

I have realigned my priorities and execution plan.

The times Pari said she’s happy managing on her own, I let her be.

I trust her to do her thing, her way, like eating snacks the way she enjoys. Not probing, spoon-feeding her. Surprisingly, it has made room for a lot of time I was wasting earlier and giving me breaks to relax or do a thing of my own.

But the times when she really likes for me to be around her, I turn off my computer, not respond to notifications on my gadgets and be exclusive to her.

Needless to say, Pari is liking our times together but the truth is, I’m loving the attention she has started giving me cause I’ve started showing her that I care for her needs.

As parents, it’s not enough to be there, hands idle and ears tuned in for all our children have to say.

Paying attention means more than being physically present.

It means learning how to listen to our kids, how to talk to them, and how to respond to their actions.

And it doesn’t mean we parents can’t have a busy life of our own, especially work life.

It all boils down to being attentive to our children’s needs (both physical & emotional) so that when things go wrong, we are aware of all the parameters that could be causing the distress.

Good, quality attention will improve the quality of our family’s life.

Besides, there is always time for quality.

“Whenever she turned her steep focus to me, I felt the warmth that flowers must feel when they bloom through the snow, under the first concentrated rays of the sun.”
~ Janet Fitch

Are you paying enough attention to your child? 

* This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge. My theme is Parenting.

Please find my other parenting posts here.

73 thoughts on “Attention

    1. I know Dil, we all parents face trouble in this area. I still do but now that Pari has started speaking about issues (which I encourage) I’m beginning to see the flip side of the many things I really didn’t see as a problem earlier.


  1. Smita

    I hear you! Like my brat asked me, Mumma why are you always looking into your mobile and I realised I take my multi tasking too far and when am with him my full attention shud be only on him.

    Isn’t parenting like this only? We live and we learn 🙂


    1. Most certainly Smita. Every time pari has to speak to me she starts with Turn that iPad off first”.
      Parenting is about learning as we imagine to be teaching our children 🙂


    1. Actually that’s so true. And since I write a personal blog, I can safely say that the love and attention my readers have poured over me has made me who I am today 🙂


  2. That’s one brilliant post. I’m not a parent yet. But I could very well understand what you and Pari went through. It happens with your partner too. When I blog or cook or read, I was never able to pay 100% attention to P. I later realized that he was feeling a lil’ blue. Attention is important and I loved the quotes you shared. Awesome! Way to go, girl! 🙂


    1. True Shalzzz, every relationship craves for attention and half-hearted attention hurts as bad as ignoring someone altogether.
      Glad that you liked my post 😊
      Love to have you around ❤


    1. Too true Bikram 🙂
      I’m learning life-lessons all over again from my child’s perspective.
      Thank you Bikram for always being around 🙂


  3. Tell me about it! I work from home too and only someone who’s been in our shoes how tough it is with kids wanting your attention.
    I try to be ‘with’ my kids when they want me. I’ve found that its kind of a break and a recharge for me too. It helps me concentrate on work better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an A for Amazing start to the A to Z Challenge, My Era. Working from home can fling a serious spanner in the works as far as time management and attention management goes. I think children are our best teachers in various aspects of life – simply because they do not carry the baggage we collect as we go along in life.

    Looking forward to your posts – and I think you’re going to rock! Love and hugs, Vidya


    1. Totally agree Vidya. Children help us look at life with fresh eyes and that is one of the many wonderful aspects of parenthood 😀
      Thank you so much for your motivation to keep me going in this challenge 🙂


  5. elixired

    Hey, I am first time here through A to Z Challenge. You have narrated it so well. It is surprizing how sometimes children teach us the simplest things and direct us to a better self. Loved the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to my blog Elixired 🙂
      I agree children have a way of showing us the perspectives we never knew existed.
      I’m glad you liked my blog. Hope to see you around 🙂


  6. inquisitivegeet

    Kids.. they are very keen at observing what adults are doing and they pick up really fast… And the questions that she puts up to you, shows how much has been going in her mind.. SAHM does make the schedule and work a bit erratic.. but finding the right balance must be the key I guess..

    Loved your blog 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to my online abode Geet 🙂
      Kids have a way of making the parents go ‘Wow’ every time they speak their mind. It’s for our mutual good to pay heed to what they’ve to say, after all, no parent has ever lived in peace after ignoring what a child has to say 😉


    1. True Roshan, the quantity alone can never make up for the times the child wants her parent to be around them, irrespective of what time of the day it is.
      I’m slowly learning to pick up the signs to make life easier and happier for me and my child 😀


  7. fabulus1710

    Attention. Something that all of us need, and need to give.
    Loved this post!
    All the best for the challenge 🙂


    1. Welcome to my space 😀
      First things first I love your name or rather the blog name ~ Fabulus , it’s a fabulous choice indeed.
      I’m glad you liked my post.
      Let’s rock this challenge, cheering each other 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Quality can never replace quantity. As a SAHM one needs to cautious to give the space and to be there with the child when required as sometimes the situations curb the best of us and with nowhere to vent out we get distracted.

    Well done on this post! waiting to read more…


    1. Rightly said Ira, attention is something we all crave for but knowing how to best give it is learnt with experience.
      I’m getting there at striking a good balance between quality and quantity time spent with my child, slowly 😀
      Thank you, hope to see you around 🙂


  9. Novemberschild

    Right from the beginning, it’s critical that children have experiences and relationships that show them they are valued, capable human beings who bring pleasure to others. Positive attention, reactions and responses from key grown-ups help children build a picture of how valued they are. From the moment they’re born, children are paying attention to what you say and do – and, perhaps even more so, how you say and do it. Even newborns are ready to relate, communicate and learn from everything and everybody around them. The more you respond and initiate communication with babies, the more they benefit.


    1. Welcome Indy 🙂
      We’re all learning important life-lessons from our precious kids, one day at a time 😀
      Let’s rock the A to Z together.


  10. This is a very important aspect of a parent’s as well as children’s life and today’s parents don’t give attention to their children, don;t ask them to hare everything with them. I’m glad you took this as the first post for this month. Loved it totally. I’m sure Pari is as lucky to have you as her I’m to have my mother. Keep coming with more such nice posts!! Thanks!
    @bloggerabhi1 from
    StyleBurp If get time, visit my blog too 🙂


    1. Thank you Abhinav for your wonderful words 🙂
      It does take a conscious effort to give positive attention to children who are highly receptive to our actions and copy them as it is in their lives. I’m taking baby steps in changing my ways for a positive hangs in life.
      All the best for A to Z Challenge 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. U r most welcome!! I understand as I see children in my relations and they don’t have time to upbring their children in a better way. I feel sad for them then. They don’t say anything if child behaves badly, they really dnt bother and thwy dont know this boosts them to do same thing again and again. Thanks and Gudluck to you too! Looking for more posts from you!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. “What on earth does paying attention mean, for a 4-year-old?”

    This is such an important point, in interactions and relationships with anyone. Not what we think we are doing, but how we are actually coming across. Great post. Looking forward to B through Z. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Linda 🙂
      As parents, we so often tend to tower over our kids and take fancy in believing what difference could our actions make on a little child. Though the reality is entirely the opposite because we are unawares moulding a child’s future accordingly.
      Glad to have you around 😀


    1. It’s high time we as parents put put our phones down and cut the gadget times to be able to enforce the same in our children who are getting losing the real essence of life in the virtual world by the minute.
      Glad to have you around Susan.
      All the best for the challenge 🙂


  12. My little one also seeks for my attention all the time. I can never give her as much attention as she’d like but like you, I also try to spend quality time with her whenever I can nd that way both of us are happy. Having said that, I would still like to prioritise my commitments better to spend more time with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Parenting an ongoing journey of improving by making errors. So let’s not be deterred by our failures and keep marching, keep improving by the day 😀


    1. Welcome to my space Chicky 🙂
      I agree kids are so receptive to the love, care, attention and even neglect that whatever they receive from us, shines in their personality as they grow up.
      Thank you for stopping by Chicky (I absolutely loved your name & blog title <3)
      Let's rock the A to Z challenge together 😀


    1. Congratulations Rohan on being blessed with a bundle of joy 🙂
      I’m glad my words could motivate you.
      Happy A to Z Challenge to you 😀


    1. The yearning to be around our children every time they need us and balancing it with work deadlines can often stir up a tussle where winning is not an easy task.
      But yeah, as a parent we gotta try to strike a balance as best we can 😀


  13. Your girl has an old soul that was gifted unto you to nurture your own, her remarks are soul searching indeed, I pray and wish upon you many cherished stolen moments in your busy days ahead. Mother daughter time is such treasure.


    1. I have always felt on the same lines, but could never put that feeling to words as beautifully as you did 😀
      What you’ve written is exactly what I see unfolding in my life, every day 🙂
      Thank you dear for all the wonderful wishes ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I am never going to feel I give enough attention to my little girl. Quantitatively or qualitatively – it never feels enough. Anyway, I am glad you could change it positively 🙂 and can feel the difference in terms of her attention to you – that’s the nicest!


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  16. Loved this article ME. I try to be away from my system when Kavya is at home, but still need to work on the mobile part.


    1. I guess we are all in the same boat D. Making a conscious effort definitely helps.
      All the best to you 🙂
      I’m glad you found my post useful.


  17. Not just the kids, every person close to you should have attention, spend time, else it is a robotic life that we live in today’s world. work, eat , sleep n so on.


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