All our children need our love and attention; that’s a given. But some children seem to have a greater need. You give them lots of attention and love and it seems to last five minutes before they need more. They need reassurance, encouragement, understanding, correction, praise, and plenty of hugs sprinkled in. My husband described this the other day in such a helpful way, I thought I would pass it on to you.
Just like adults have different metabolisms, kids seem to have different love metabolisms. Some adults can eat vast amounts of food, and they burn off the calories as fast as they eat them, never gaining a pound. Others can just walk past a picture of a doughnut, and they gain two pounds. In the same way, some kids can get a hug from Mom, and that holds them for the morning while they run out to play in the backyard quite happily. But little sister may need a hug every twenty minutes because she has already burned off the last one. So it just doesn’t work to hand out the affection equally, everyone getting a fair share.
Unfortunately, the ones who have the biggest needs (with the limitless tanks) can become the most demanding, which can make them the least lovable. And if Mom doesn’t just pour on the love anyway, it will only get worse. Many of the bad habits or bad behavior that little kids develop are the result of insecurity and neediness. If parents would determine to pour on the loving, they may be surprised to see some of the bad behavior or bad attitudes disappear. Kids’ needs fluctuate as they grow, so their tank size may change just when you thought you had it figured out.
So parents need to ladle in on thick, or dump it on with a snow shovel, or pour it on with a fire hose. Whatever suits you. And just like food nourishes the body, love and attention nourishes their little souls. And fat souls are what we want.