Parents often joke that when they have a date night and go out to dinner, they spend the entire evening wondering what their child is doing. They keep talking about their son or daughter, sharing funny stories, and looking up photos of them that they've saved on their phone or social media. They're so in love with their kids and so proud that they simply can't help themselves.
When she has her first baby, a mom will often say that she spends a lot of time staring at them. She thinks that everything that her baby does is amazing, from sleeping to the first hint of a smile, and she thinks about her baby all the time.
Every mom knows that as her kid grows up, her attention becomes more divided and she has a lot of things on her plate. She is often juggling many things from a full-time or part-time job to cooking and taking her kid to sports and activities. There are many reasons why she might not be paying quite as much attention to her children as she should be. There are some clear ways that this can affect a child.
Here are 20 signs that mom needs to pay more attention.
20 She Is On Her Phone 24/7
According to Psych Central, many moms are spending so much time on their cell phones that this is becoming quite the problem. If a mom is on her phone 24/7, that's a big sign that her kid might need more attention.
If a mom is overseeing a playdate or takes her children to the park and spends an hour texting or scrolling social media, that might seem innocent. After all, everyone does this, right? But little kids do need to be watched more often than that, and it's best to put the phone away and look at it when she gets a free, child-free moment later on in the day.
19 She Doesn't Hang Out With Her Child Individually
Understood.org talks about how crucial it is for moms to hang out with each of their children individually. If a mom has more than one child and doesn't make this a part of their daily and weekly routine, this could also be a sign that she needs to pay more attention.
Children want to know that they're special. While it's great if kids get along and enjoy playing together, they want that time with just mom.
Moms can think about a few different activities, such as grabbing ice cream together or doing a puzzle or art project. Once she starts paying more attention, her kids will definitely flourish.
18 Her Kids Are Too Shy And Cling To Her
Another sign that a mom needs to pay more attention is that she doesn't play with her kids. If this isn't happening, there are a few things that a mom will notice about her children.
According to You Are Mom, a kid who doesn't play very often might be too shy and might also be too clingy. As the website says, "As children grow up, they must stop relying entirely on their parents and develop some autonomy. Play is fundamental for this to happen, because while playing, children make decisions, solve problems and act without an adult telling them what to do."
17 Her Kids Are Misbehaving At Home Or School
A mom might need to pay more attention to her kid if they start misbehaving in school or at home.
As someone wrote on Quora, "A child who's getting most of their needs met but just isn't getting the attention they need may start acting out to get said attention. That's why you see some kids engaging in undesirable behavior to get a parent’s attention."
This is a clear sign that a kid needs their mom around more. They want to know that she cares about them, that she's proud of them, and that she believes that they can tackle whatever projects or hardships come their way. They figure if they misbehave, their mom will finally start noticing them and talking to them more.
16 The Kids Aren't Hitting Their Milestones (Like Walking Or Talking)
While comparing one kid's milestones to another's is never a good idea since kids develop at different times, there are some things that every kid should be able to do. For example, once a child is a toddler, they should definitely start walking and talking.
It seems like if a kid isn't hitting these types of milestones, they would need their mom to pay more attention to them. Maybe their mom is busy with older kids or hasn't noticed that they aren't developing as quickly as they should be. This is a definite sign that a mom needs to spend more time helping their toddler reach these milestones.
15 She Hasn't Established An After-School Routine For Her Little Ones
Kids might need more attention from their mom if there isn't an after-school routine that is followed every day.
Kids love routines... and moms do too for the same reasons. It's nice for kids to know that when they come home from school, they'll have a snack and maybe play a game with their mom.
As the mom writing at Your Modern Family says, "I always want to be the one to pick them up from school or be the one getting them off of the bus for this same reason. We usually head out onto our back porch & they have a snack while we chat about what they did that day."
14 She's Not Talking To Her Kids About Their Feelings
A mom could need to pay more attention to her child if she's not talking to her kids about their feelings.
She Knows says that moms need to give their kids "emotional support." The publication quotes psychologist Dr. Jonice Webb who says, “If you ignore your child’s emotions, your child will feel ignored on some level, no matter how much attention you pay to him in other ways.”
It's definitely a good idea for moms to check in with their little ones regularly about how they're feeling. This shows kids that home is a safe space where no emotion is considered weird or bad.
13 The Family Doesn't Eat Dinner Together Regularly
It's a common story for many families: family dinner isn't a daily thing. Everyone in the family eats separately at various times because the kids are involved in so many activities. One kid has to eat at 4:30 before soccer practice, another eats at 7 and their dad eats at 9 when he gets home from the office.
If a family isn't eating dinner together on a regular basis, this could be a sign that a mom needs to pay more attention to her children. This could mean that the family isn't taking the time to talk about their days and how things are going at school. When that regular communication is happening, things go much smoother.
12 She's A Solo Mom Who's Started To Date
It's not easy to parent solo, and when a solo mom starts becoming interested in dating again, it can be even tougher.
A solo mom who has re-entered the dating scene could need to pay more attention to her children. Her kids could be upset about this and feeling a lot of different (and negative) emotions. They could start acting out and want more time with her because they feel like they're being replaced or like their dad is being replaced. Of course that's not the case, but she should definitely spend some extra time with them and talk to them about what's going on and what they can expect.
11 Her Kids Are Playing Too Many Video Games
There doesn't seem to be a parent these days who isn't dealing with their kids wanting to play video games 24/7. The truth is that if this is happening, then a mom might need to pay more attention to her kids and talk to them about spending their time differently.
It's not healthy for children and teenagers to spend hours in front of the television, whether watching a show or playing games. Moms want to make sure that they're talking to their kids about their lives and sharing wisdom and advice with them when it's needed. While it can be helpful sometimes for kids to play video games so mom can get stuff done around the house, it's not the best idea to do this all the time.
10 Her Kids Aren't Doing Well In School
Moms hope that their children will love school and do really well. It's tough to see kids struggling academically, even if it's just with one subject.
When her kids are having trouble at school and getting poor grades, that's another situation when a mom wants to start paying more attention. Maybe her kids' report cards and progress at school have slipped by her because she's been busy juggling work and family life. There could be a few different reasons. These things do happen, but it's of course good for moms to recognize this and help their kids get back on track.
9 Her Children Are Having Trouble Making Friends Or School Is Tough For Them Socially
It's heartbreaking when kids are alone at recess and don't have any friends at school. This is never something that a mom wants to hear. She wants her kids to thrive, get invited to every birthday party, and be popular.
A mom needs to pay more attention when her kids are having a tough time socially. Is she setting up playdates? Is she befriending other moms to make sure that her kids are getting those crucial party and playdate invites? Since it's so important for children to have friends, this is definitely an area that moms need to pay careful attention to.
8 She's Not Watching Her Kids At The Park When They're On The Slide Or Swings
Razed.us mentions that when children are at the playground, parents really need to watch them and make sure that no falls happen, along with anything else that might come up.
While kids might claim that they can handle the slide or swings themselves and they want that independence, moms know that accidents do occur and it's best to watch kids all the time. Of course, sometimes things can't be prevented even if mom is watching, and moms can't blame themselves. But instead of chatting with other parents or being distracted by work or other things, moms should definitely pay more attention at the playground.
7 Her Kids Or Teens Are Eating Only Junk Food
Fries while out with friends, popcorn at the movies, candy as an after-school snack. Pizza for dinner because it's been a busy week and there's nothing in the fridge today. Leftover pizza for lunch because, again, it's been a busy week.
It's easy to see how a teenager's plate could be filled with junk food pretty much all the time. No mom wants this to happen, but sometimes it just does. This is another time when a mom needs to pay more attention. She can have a conversation with her kids about making healthier choices and try to find foods that they actually want to eat.
6 The Kids Are Watching Something That They're Too Young For
According to Neowin.net, video game ratings are ignored by 86 percent of parents living in the U.K.
Are the kids watching a TV show or movie that they're too young for, or playing a video game that has a different age rating? If this happens on a regular basis, it could be because their mom is super busy and is letting them watch anything that they want (or she doesn't know what they're watching) so she can be more productive.
Every mom uses TV as a babysitter sometimes, but if this is a regular occurrence, then she definitely needs to pay more attention to her children. It might be time to let them know what's good for them to watch and what's not and set some ground rules.
5 She Doesn't Know Their Friends (Or Their Friends' Parents)
Sometimes moms get lucky and their good friends have kids at the same time, which makes it easy for their children to hang out and play together. Instant friendships are formed and it's a beautiful thing.
Most of the time, though, moms have to get to know the parents of their kids' friends, and it can take some effort. If a mom doesn't know these moms, though, and she also isn't sure who her kids are hanging out with these days, that could be a problem. This is especially a tricky situation once her kids are in high school. If her teens are spending time with others who aren't the best influence, she wants to pay more attention and make sure that her kids are still on the right track.
4 Her Son Or Daughter Might Have ADD
It's also possible that a kid has ADD or another learning problem and their mom hasn't noticed yet.
It's easy to see how this could happen, especially if a mom has a big family with a packed schedule. She could assume that everything is just fine, particularly if her son or daughter has always done really well in school. If she hears from a teacher that there's been some signs of ADD lately, she could think that it's not really happening and that it's just a phase or a fluke. But it's a good idea to look into it and start paying more careful attention.
3 She's Always Multitasking When Around Her Family
Multitasking seems to be what being a mom is all about, right? Moms always have so much going on that it seems like doing one thing at a time just wouldn't be possible. They're making dinner while making extra food for lunch tomorrow and answering emails at the same time.
But if a mom is always multitasking when she's around her family, that could be another sign that she needs to pay more attention to her kids. She might not be really hearing what they have to say to her since it's impossible to really focus on everything when you're doing three things at once. This is a tough habit to break but it's important to do so.
2 Her Kids Can't Stop Whining
According to The Mom Initiative, a child needs more attention from their mom if they're whining a lot.
Moms are all too familiar with whining since even the most well-behaved kids can whine from time to time. Being hungry, tired, or just really wanting that bag of potato chips or chocolate bar at the grocery store can cause a kid to whine for 10 minutes straight.
Moms can be confident that they need to pay more attention to their little one if they start whining more often than usual. They're basically asking for their mom to talk to them and notice them.
1 She Has Too Much On Her Plate And Is Stressed And Distracted
The final sign that a mom needs to pay more attention to her children? She always feels like she's super distracted and would describe her plate as too full.
When a mom is stressed out, regular daily tasks feel like a really big deal. Even washing dishes or heating up leftovers for dinner in the microwave can seem like it's going to take way too much effort. Everyone gets stressed sometimes, and moms might be accidentally ignoring their children when they go through a period like this.
There are definitely times when moms need to pay more attention to their kids. While there's no such thing as a perfect mother, every mom loves their kids so much, and that's good to remember.