Life Notes: Spend Time with Children
by James Brown, LPC, LMFT

Have you ever noticed that nature abhors a vacuum? Whenever something is removed, nature will attempt to fill the void. Try this. Place your fingertip in a bowl of water and remove it quickly while looking in the bowl. As you know from experience, water quickly rushes in to fill the void. There is not even an indentation. So it is with a child. Whenever something is taken or a behavior is prohibited, a vacuum is created within the child- an internal drive to fill the void. Positive or negative behavior may replace what was taken away.

Parenting not only involves prohibiting negative or undesirable behaviors in our children, but also filling the void with positive behaviors. As parents, we should be mindful to place positive activities and events in the lives of our children. Removing the bad things is only half the job; the other half involves filling the “hole” with positive experiences. This DOES require more work, but the reward is well worth the effort!

Take a little time and create a list of positive activities for your child. Sometimes the activity can be as simple as spending time with your child. Also, ask your child for input on what he/she likes to do. Spending time with your child is a great way to find out what he is interested in or “in to.” It can also be a positive experience for both you and your youngster.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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