5 Life-Saving Things To Do When One Child Seems To Need All Your Attention

Having more than one child is a challenge in more ways than one- juggling activities, bedtime routines, and most importantly time. 

Differing personalities between the children demand different types of attention, and satisfying all their needs can seem impossible.

And every mom usually has that child who can’t seem to play on their own and wants constant undivided attention, even when you are trying to use the bathroom, so let us help you!

One issue that requires more attention in a child is when they are struggling with sensory processing challenges, as Mommy Underground has previously reported.

With sensory processing issues, your child may get overwhelmed easily and need to be calmed down often, or they may need constant input, leaving you exhausted as you try to find productive ways to fill their time.

Cameron Kleimo, writing for Scary Mommy, shares her journey with her son Hunter. Cameron and her husband feel like they are constantly “walking on egg shells” so they don’t have another meltdown when he is experiencing a sensory overload. 

Children without any additional challenges still need to be fed, clothed, chauffeured, and given copious amounts of TLC – all while you try to maintain some form of self-care.

So what do you do when you can’t seem to give one child all the attention they want without compromising the needs of your other little nuggets. 

Access your support system

It is true that we need to help ourselves to be able to help others. If we are feeling overwhelmed and at a loss for a solution then how are we going to meet the needs of our children?

Try letting your child who needs a little more one-on-one time have “special outings” with close relatives, where they can get attention while you focus on the other children or pamper yourself. 

Let your support system know what is going on in your parenting struggles so they can offer advice or lend a sympathetic ear.

Support systems are not going to change your child (and you don’t want to!), but it will help you be able to meet the unique needs of each of your little ones. 

Keep it real

Everyone in the family should be apprised of the situation with one of their siblings. Present it as each child having things they specifically prefer because we are all different. 

One child may really like to play legos while another would rather spend that time showing mommy how they can do a somersault 100 times in a row.

You don’t want the child who needs more attention to feel shameful for it or try to suppress his feelings in an effort to please you.

Line up individualized hang-outs

Having a time of day where you set aside special time with each child may help ward off the constant begging for your attention.

Knowing that they don’t have to fight for the attention helps reduce the anxiety that they need more of you. 

This may be the most important step in finding peace in the home, and making the other children not feel left out.

Talk often about feelings 

Siblings of children that need more attention can become jealous and angry toward their brother or sister, along with their parents.

The child that needs extra care may not understand why they are that way and grow insecure about their position.

Be upfront and deliberate when speaking to each of your children about how they feel. Explain to them how each of the children are loved equally despite the amount of energy spent on them.

Find something special that you can do with each child to connect with them on an individualized basis, as well as something you can all do together to promote unity. 

One child may like to read books together while another likes to bake, but then you all enjoy riding bikes after dinner. 

Make your home a safe space

When a child who needs extra attention is playing with friends they may struggle with the emotional maturity and communication necessary to convey their needs. 

Your child may want to constantly wrestle while the friend just wants to sit in the tree fort, these differing forms of friendly contact can create conflict in the relationship.

Allow your home to be a place of understanding, where each child can come to you openly and without judgement to express what they are struggling with.

With unconditional love and patience, the whole family can be unified despite the unique challenges. 

Meeting each child’s needs doesn’t have to make you feel inadequate and exhausted. Let go of the worry and try one new thing at a time until you find a beautifully orchestrated routine that brings peace to the home.

Please let us know in the comments section if you have a child that needs more attention, and how you strike a balance. 

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