When my daughter was two, I returned to college.
I remember sitting at my desk studying. My daughter would be playing a few feet away until I got up to get another book. Then she would stop stacking the blocks and run to me. For the next several minutes, I would attempt to re-interest her in building a tower, which rarely worked. Next I would become stern and tell her that I had to finish my paper and she had to play by herself. That was even less successful. Eventually I would give up and did what I thought parents were supposed to do: entertain.
Through Circle of Security Parenting, CoSP, I have reframed her behavior. Now I understand that her goal wasn’t to get my attention to annoy me. She was trying to get my attention to feel that no matter what I was doing I loved her and would be there for her.
If I had reassured her by giving her a hug, and a kiss, she would have returned to her construction project and I could have returned to Shakespeare. Oh if only hindsight was foresight—
If you are worried that meeting a child’s need for support will make her more dependent, studies show that children who are securely attached even as young as two demonstrate more independence than children who feel that they are alone with no one to help meet their emotional needs.
Next time your child interrupts what you are doing, think of her bid for attention as a need for connection.
For more information about Circle of Security Parenting please visit https://www.circleofsecurityinternational.com or read Raising a Secure Child.