The interesting thing is with some children you have to go and search them out to give them the affection they need. The truth is every child is different in the way in which they receive affection but the need remains the same. They need affection to fill their love tank.
A love tank in a child works the same way as a fuel tank in a car. A car begins to choke and sputter eventually stopping if the fuel tank is empty. Well, children, actually all of us, are like that. When a child’s love tank begins to get low, it will require strokes from their parents. The problem is they won’t just walk up to you and say, ‘I need a hug’. Usually they display aberrant and annoying behaviour to get attention. Children act out when their ‘love tank’ is low. They are looking for you to give them attention, to stroke them with affection. At times it just may be necessary to scoop them up in your arms, hold them tight and love on them.
When our twins were babies, Jim would take them in his arms, rock them and walk around with his face close to their face. Our daughter, Becky, would squirm and at times didn’t seem to be enjoying the attention at all. My reaction was simple, she obviously doesn’t like it, put her down. But Jim persisted. His response was, ‘I am teaching her to receive affection’. To me at the time it seemed unnecessary but he was proved right. She needed the affection and soon settled into the love.
Although for some children you may have to work at what they need, don’t stop. When they are older and in their teens, they still need strokes. They may not run to you like our granddaughters ran to their Dad but they need to have their love tanks filled by you, their parent. If they get the affection they need from you, they won’t look for it in the places that could be hurtful to them.