As I sit reading a textbook for a class, my son continued to say, "mom, look at this" or "mom, see what I am doing". My response would be to nod, to mumble things like "uh huh", "yeah" or "good job". At some point in my act of numbness, his voice rang through to me saying, "Mom, when I say something to you, you don't look at me when I say it". He stopped me in my tracks and forever changed the way that I parented moving forward.
Children know what they need. Usually they can find ways to express it appropriately...but not always. My son then and the man he is today has always spoke up for what he needed in our relationship. This doesn't mean that my job is to give him everything he wants and sometimes not everything he thinks he needs. What it does mean is learning to be intentional with the interactions we have with our children so that one day, they learn to do this in their own lives. Whew! This is no easy job as a parent, however, the rewards will come back tenfold when you see them flourish because you learned to communicate with them effectively.
Find ways to be intentional in your children's lives and in your own life. See what comes of it.