They always close the door, trying to keep the tension and ugliness inside. She knows they want to protect her. She knows they love her. But they’re so busy with him. And when they’re not, they’re so tired. She sometimes finds herself missing the family’s life from just a year ago when they would still go bowling together, when her brother still laughed, when he would blow the paper off of the soda straw at her at McDonald’s.
I know your life may be almost consumed by the needs and drama of your one child. And I’m not saying you have to give equal time to your other children.
But you do have to give them something . . . something that is all about them, something that sets aside the needs of the crisis child for a time and puts your non-demanding child front and center.
Make time for your non-demander. She’s not going to tell you that she needs you because she can see how strained and drained you already are from the current difficulties your other child brings. The last thing she wants to do is add to your burdens.
But she needs you too. Not with as much time as is required for your other child. And not every day. But some time . . . her time, focused time.
Make a date with your non-demander. Even once a month will do. But get away, go somewhere where it can be all about her. Go out for tea. Head to the trails at the nearest state park. Do something that allows you to look them in the eye and listen uninterrupted for a good amount of time. Don’t wait until this child decides she needs to do something pretty dramatic to get some attention around here.
There’s a perk for you in this.
Not only does your non-demander need this. So do you. It will give you a peaceful even laughter-filled moment in your day. It will remind you that not all of your parenting went off-track. It will let you know that something is working well in your family. It may feed your soul every bit as much as it feeds your child’s. Go connect today.
What about you?
Do you have a non-demander in your family who’s getting lost in the attentions being showered on the challenging child? Has he or she shown any signs of missing you?