Attention Bucket

One of my favourite books I’ve enjoyed reading recently is “The Five Love Languages of Children”.

5 love languages

Not only was it a good read and filled my mind with new views, but it gave me a new understanding of why my children sometimes act the way they do.

It excited me to really figure out each one of my kids love languages,  and yes …. they each have  a different one.

A year or so ago, my husband and I were trying to figure out why our children were acting up more often, and acting out of character more than before.  As I started reading about temper tantrums and disobedience, I realized that in most cases, this might have been our faults!.


Because, my kids ‘attention bucket’ wasn’t full!.

We linked it back to last year because we had just had a new baby (#4),  AND we were moving …. needless to say, we were quite busy. I’m sure my two oldest weren’t getting the attention they needed at the time.

Then, I read this book, and stumbled upon a great website called  Positive Parenting Solutions (you can find it here )  and the lights went on!.


It could have been that their ‘attention bucket’, or ’emotional tank’  wasn’t full. It made total sense to me.  As I read on, the book explains that when your child’s tank or bucket is full, it ‘fuels’  them throughout their day and helps them through any challenging times they face. When the bucket is empty ……. well, you may have experienced what happens then.

I’m not saying that every time a child seems to acts up or throw a tantrum, it’s our fault, but it should give us a reason to evaluate how we spend our time with our little ones.

After learning more about keeping my children’s bucket’s full, I intentionally wanted to find out what each of my children need from my attention.  It was a blessing to hear from them exactly what they need from me and their dad.  And guess what ….. it wasn’t a lot!  Mostly just some simply one on one time.

Here are some simple ways to fill your child’s ‘Bucket’ :

  • Find out your child’s Love Language, and start applying it on a daily/weekly basis. This could be physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service or gifts.
  • Set uninterrupted time aside for each individual child.  They need to know they have your undivided attention (even if it’s for 10  minutes)
  • SLOW DOWN.  Sometimes our busy lifestyles can really get to our kids. Especially if they are not getting any of your time.
  • Speak words of encouragement and life into your child!.  Praise them for the hard work and good things they are doing.
  • Plan special dates with your children. Let them pick the place, whether it be a walk in the park, a trip to a coffee shop or a hot chocolate in the backyard.
  • Get down to their level, look them in the eye and affirm them with love.
  • Give extra hugs and kisses whenever possible  (my favourite!)

Of course, there are many more, and only you know your child best.  I highly recommend this book and website.

And above all …. love, love, love your children!  not just with words, but with actions.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Phil 2:3-4

6 thoughts on “Attention Bucket

  1. Always a great reminder! I notice this so often with my oldest – when behavior seems to get a little out of control, I can either escalate the situation or get right down to his level and “fill the bucket” so to speak – always a more pleasant outcome!

  2. Thank you for sharing this book!! All the encouragement you can get while raising children sure helps and Gary Chapman’s books are so good!!

    I’m stopping over from the Homemaking Linkup over at Raising Homemakers. I have a linkup going on too 🙂

  3. I’ve never read this book, but have always had similar thoughts. When our children act out, there is usually a cause behind it and a lot of times it’s because they aren’t getting the attention that makes them feel loved and valued. We aren’t spending quality time with them, focusing on them, listening to them, etc. Not that our lives should revolve around them. But children are people as well and when they talk, we should listen instead of constantly saying “in a minute,” etc. It’s so interesting to me how we will treat our children in ways we’d never treat another person. Thanks for sharing at Thriving Thursday…adding this to the pinterest board.

  4. I have this book on my shelf right now, and my middle child has been acting out terribly lately. I believe I need to read that book! Your blog post couldn’t have come at a better time 🙂 Thanks!

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