What Do Children Really Want? (A classic, republished by popular demand)

December 21, 2017 • Posted by Remy Cook in Anne's Parenting Column • Tags: , , , , , , 3 comments  

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As young Mothers and Grandmothers gladly and wholeheartedly comb the earth to find a very special something for a little relative, they might be surprised to know they have this present already. What the child most wants is their attention and time. A child’s heart’s desire is unquestionably just a few hours with a parent or grandparent, somewhere simple, maybe at home, a cozy restaurant or outside. Phones and all technological devices are not invited. Pets stay home. No errands to accomplish. The TV is off.

Draw and color together. Read a story and talk about it. Take a walk and look around. Listen and respond. Go at the child’s pace. Hold hands. Anything more complicated tends to move your attention to the task rather than the little person doing it with you. Your focus should be on the child, so that the time feels ample and leisurely and close, even if you only have an hour.

Attention, time together and love are invaluable. They are the presents we all want. And the gift to the child gives itself right back to the giver. You’ll both want to do it again. You’ll find another hour in your busy schedule and both of you will have something special to look forward to. Your relationship with the child will become stronger, deeper, closer, more tender. Lucky everyone!

This was Anne’s first Parenting Column ever, originally published in December, 2012

Comments ( 3 )

  1. Carolyn

    Hi Anne,

    I am so glad that Remy re-posted this story because I am just loving all the sweetness and love that is coming from this heartfelt column. As always you know what is best for little people. Merry Christmas Anne and Remy!

    Love you both!

  2. lizzie

    all we need is a box of crayons and each other! its really true and I am so happy to be reminded of what is really the most fun thing is just being together and having a few laughs. the best.
    love love love to anne and remy!

  3. blair cook

    Anne’s ability to distill all her experience with the
    little ones into simple and heartfelt advice to us
    (i.e. the distracted and misdirected parents) is
    enlightening and so appreciated.thank you, and
    when is your collection of these great essays
    available in book form?

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