Attention Seeking Behaviour
Young children demand a great degree of care.
The three kinds of attention are positive attention, negative attention and no attention. For example, children getting attention for good behaviour is positive attention and a child getting attention for misbehaving is negative attention. In most cases, positive attention encourages good behaviour. Some children start to misbehave when they get no attention in an attempt to get some sort of attention. Also, many times the behaviour of many children changes on the arrival of a new sibling when they no longer receive the undivided attention of their parents.
Not every child demands attention in the same way but some common behaviour includes the child dominating every conversation or expecting the family to revolve around them.
Here are some strategies to try for attention seeking behaviour in children. (Source)
– increase the positive attention
– ignore inappropriate behaviour used to get attention or used to obtain something (this applies if their behaviour is not aggressive or harmful to anyone.) Teach them that throwing tantrums will not result in them getting their way. This should teach them that positive attention comes as a result of good behaviour and that bad behaviour is not effective. Remember, ignore the misbehaviour not the child.
– teach them to ask for what they want in a more appropriate way and praise them when they do so they feel rewarded for good behaviour. This should encourage them to behave well.
– set aside alone time with each parent – let the child have their “special time” with each parent. This could be 5minutes every doing something they find enjoyable .
– avoid words that trigger this behaviour (for example, “no”) – instead of saying what your child cannot do, tell them what they can do. For example, instead of saying “no screaming” you can say “ask nicely” or instead of “no chocolate” you can say “you can have chocolate after dinner.”
Remember, each child is different so not every child will react the same way as the next. Give your child the positive attention and care they need and watch them flourish.