When I was on vacation, a certain family attracted my attention at a restaurant. Mother and father had twins and an older girl about age 5. The girl misbehaved throughout the meal while the infant twins got all the attention. That misbehavior is called “asking for a cold prickly.” A warm fuzzy is something that is given to the child for good behavior and encourages self-esteem without the child asking for anything.
Be it known that no human being has a middle ground. If they do not get compliments and attention, they will manipulate to get attention in the opposite direction called a cold prickly. It is a way of being recognized. It is a way of confirming that, “Hey, I am here!” The cold prickly may lead to discipline on any level. It is still a means by which the child and later the adult is given attention as a person. Unfortunately, that type of confirmation has negative consequences. It is easy to get positive or negative consequences, but there must be one or the other.
It would have been better if both parents incorporated the child into the support for the infants. That way, the little girl would have had confirmation without having to act out. She went so far as to make ugly faces at the babies. Far too many parents do not realize that they have the responsibility to provide some form of affirmation, either positive or negative, to their children.
Let us take two ladies at the grocery store. As soon as the first lady arrives, she places the child in the grocery cart and ignores the child. It will not take long for the child to misbehave. Perhaps unwanted items would be thrown in the grocery cart. Protracted crying or screaming could be offered to the mother for attention.
Let us take the second lady at the grocery store. She places the child in the grocery cart and immediately engages her in a conversation. It can be something as simple as asking the child to put an item in the cart. It could be verbally interacting with the child. The mother could request the child’s opinion on something.
When asking a child for an opinion is best to offer an alternative not a multitude of choices. Ask the child if she wants chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Don’t say do you want chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or Neapolitan ice cream. That would be confusing to the child and lead to unwanted results.
The second mother that engages the child throughout the shopping is least likely to have problems. The child is least likely to want a cold prickly. There would be no need because the child is already getting a warm fuzzy. Think about that as you tote your child along with you in public. Remember that child is a person and not a possession or a thing.
Ask yourself if you would like to be treated the way you do your child. That child is a gift from God and is your responsibility to guide, teach, and appreciate. The only way a child can build self-esteem is because they have positive interactions with adults by being praised, affirmed, and validated.
If you are the parent of a young child, take into consideration what your relationship is with your youngster. Remember that the consequence of the child’s behavior is a result of how you offer yourself to that young person.