What every child (and every human being) craves for

Deep within each of us is a longing that can be traced back to when we were children. Even as adults we still desire what every child craves for. What is it and why do we crave for it?

What every child craves for picturePhoto Credit:ICAN International

Because we’re social beings and we delight in social interaction. Unless of course you’re suffering from a phobia and have locked yourself away in a castle guarded by a dragon, so no one can get to you.

There are people that fall into this category and they have their reasons to live a recluse life. But, for the rest of us, interaction!

My children love my attention and a remark by daddy after they’ve had a shower, combed their hair and dressed up all pretty just makes their day. How good they look isn’t quite established until dad’s looked in their direction and commented with an “oohhh…cheechee…you man!”

What fascinates me about these little encounters is that their reaction is always the same. A soft smile, flutter of the eyelashes and a slow sway from side to side as if they heard the most pleasant thing.

Almost two years ago I started with the NGO I now work for and in that time I had the privilege of meeting a great man. We’ve now become very good friends and soon to be business partners. In truth, he’s become like a little brother to me. What intrigued me the most about this individual was his character and ability to light up a room with his sense of humour and goofiness.

Last year, we both represented our volleyball team for the business house tourney at work and he had this uncanny ability to make losing…Not Suck! Yes indeed! We could laugh our lose off as a team and continue on as winners in our own right.

But this wasn’t what set this particular man apart in my books. When I began at work, and we were still getting to know each other, there was something I did or a story I told him to which he replied: “I’m proud of you.”

Now at first I found this a bit strange coming from another man. I mean seriously, wouldn’t you? This however happened numerous times over different things I had done and I must say those three words kind of grew on me. What felt awkward at first, with bells ringing in my ears and a warning sign to run in the other direction, became quite comforting.

Of course the question that you’re probably asking is, “why would those three words feel awkward?” The truth be told is, I had never heard them prior to this grown man telling me. Maybe I did as a child and simply can’t remember. And if I did, it definitely ceased over the years as I grew older.

I wouldn’t hold it against my mom though (God rest her soul) because I was a total headache in my teenage years. Which is probably the reason for my not hearing those words in the first place.

Anyway, here I was, one grown man hearing these three words from another grown man and for some reason it brought about a comfort and satisfaction that I can’t really explain.

Was it because he said he was proud of me or what I had done? No, not really.

When those words were spoken, they were received by the child in me. And I believe the root of this satisfaction goes back to what every child craves for.

Simply, to be acknowledged.

The term acknowledgement is defined as –
“the action of showing that one has noticed someone or something.”

It breaks my heart to think of the numerous children in the world that are missing out on the attention they fully deserve.

Children that want to be seen.

Children that long to be heard.

Children, that need to be acknowledged.

Now that you know what every child craves for (and probably every human on planet earth)…GO!

Acknowledge your children today. Tell them you’re proud of them just because. Acknowledge other under privileged children as well. Even your friends, colleagues, partner and family members. Tell them you see them.

And if they answer with a blank “HUH!?”

Then simply tell them that you understand…

“Nobody wants to be invisible.”

Feel free to leave your highly appreciated acknowledgement in the comments below 🙂

4 thoughts on “What every child (and every human being) craves for”

  1. I had to comment on your post. I don’t work with children, but I strongly agree. Sometimes, all a child needs is a small amount of your attention and time.
    For example, I had a friend over one day and we were talking and enjoying a cup of tea together. Her four year old daughter came into the kitchen to show her a teddy bear that she was playing with, but my friend yelled at her and told her that she was busy talking. Her daughter’s face fell and she quietly turned away and walked out of the room.
    I wanted to scream at my friend. All she had to do was acknowledge the child’s toy and returned to our conversation. I know. I do it all the time. In a room full of adults, the kids gravitate to me because they know I’ll give them the attention they seek. It’s not hard. I wish all adults would do this.
    Another friend’s child tried everything to get his mother’s attention when she was watching TV or was busy on the computer. The only thing that would get a reaction from her was the “F” word. So, of course, that’s what he would do.
    If she’d only pay attention when he was being good, he would never have resorted to using the word.
    That’s enough rambling from me. You can see that it’s something I’m passionate about. I love kids.

    1. WOW! Thank you so much Susan for commenting and sharing your experience with us. I must admit that I do fall short at times and I’m still learning to acknowledge and give my children the attention they need when they need it. As for being around friends and their children, I think one of the things we can do is acknowledge the child ourselves when they’re calling their parent(s). This can satisfy the child’s need for attention and hopefully be a lesson to our friends as well to pay better attention to their children 🙂

  2. Well said Naibuka.
    I for one have witnessed this coming from your whole team. I think that personality of acknowledging people has been passed on. It is indeed a great feeling to be seen/acknowledged.

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