How to Deal with Attention-Seeking Behavior in Children?

Maybe the worst parental fear is to know that the child might begin to misbehave, especially if their acting out is violent and prolonged. Such scenes could be highly unnerving and frustrating. Many parents just don’t know what measures to take to terminate the unpleasantness. But there are measures to stem the outbreaks, you but have to know them. How to deal with attention-seeking behavior in children?

Why Do Children Act out?

The first step towards learning to control acting out is to grasp the reasons which can precipitate it. The foremost reason is that the little one wants to draw the parents’ attention. If their mom and dad are too busy or work long hours, the kid finds it hard to secure their attention the right way. So there remains for them to do it the wrong way. In case the child wants a parent to perform an easy task for them or pesters them with endless questions, they are definitely out for attention.

Don’t wait for demands, give the child(ren) attention

Of an evening most adults are conceivably tired after work and other commitments; it is but logical that children are worn out, too. Nevertheless, it is worth your while to avoid confrontations and allot some time to concentrate on the kid(s) and engage them in an exciting activity together. Make sure you do it without smartphones, tablets, and other distractive objects.

You don’t need to enlist everybody – you can do it by turns, actually. Studies reveal that if there is a sustained bond, kids grow up possessing stronger self-esteem. Your child knows that he or she can get attention in a number of positive ways – then, what is the need to employ negative tactics?

Empathize freely

When your child has acted out on you, switch on your empathic abilities. It wouldn’t mean you have to condone to the little one’s misbehavior. But what you are aware of at once is that the misbehavior is caused by an immature underdeveloped attitude.

Conceivably, in the middle of a tumultuous scene, it is problematic to suddenly go emphatic and understanding. Yet taking into account their level of development you will know what effective response you can employ to defuse the altercation.

Mind it may be better to ignore an offending scene

There are times when you can just wave your child away. As they come up to demand your attention in a way you resent, you can tell them that nothing is achieved by whining, you will be ready to discuss the issue when they express their wishes in a calm voice.

Such ignoring doesn’t imply that every time your child seeks attention he or she will get this type of treatment.

Teach your kid about what is urgent and what is not

It is useful for the kid to be taught to distinguish between a situation that requires your attention urgently and one which can wait until you become disengaged. If a child is hurt, or something is broken and there are sharp slivers on the floor, you will need to react at once. Tell the kid that he or she has done well to attract your attention.

On the other hand, when the kid wants your help with the game they are playing, and you have to discuss a point with your colleague online, the young one must understand that they should wait.

Ensure that the child knows the basic rules

We always expect something from children and there always are behaviors that we resent, but does the kid know that? But it’s essential that they should.

Define the basic rules clearly – for instance, by drawing up a chart. Involve the kid in its production and then hang it up where they could see it easily. With the kid who is not good at reading or hasn’t learned yet, illustrate the rules. Anyway, the chart will work as a good reminder.

Put down what you don’t like most: yelling, whining, pulling at clothes, running away. Every rule has a consequential punishment like time out alone, cutting down on their in-front-of-screen time, going to bed earlier than usual.

Once you have this kind of chart hanging on the wall, you can point at it and remind the recalcitrant youngster which rule they broke and what consequences must ensue.

You must never fail with consequences

With the child who clamors for attention on a regular basis, one of the gravest issues can be consistency in applying the consequences every time the kid trespasses.

Naturally, you can go easy on punishments when you are exhausted or very busy, but you should bear in mind that the kid keeps a detailed account of the times you yielded and the times you disciplined them. When the score is badly misbalanced, they are apt to increase pressure on you next time around.

Get a Time-Out Yourself When Angry

There are sure to be times when the danger of your flying off the handle would be acute. Then you need to calm down to go on behaving rationally. Have prepared ways to step out of the situation.

For instance, you can say: “Your whining has put me out. I’ll take a short break. We will go on with this conversation 5 minutes later.”

After that, you can adjourn to where you can be alone and take deep breaths, relax until you recover your composure. Then you will tackle your kid more effectively.

Never ignore the issue

As the kid’s negative demands for your attention grow more unendurable, mind that you must never ignore the worst of their pranks. Misbehavior and punishment ought to be associated firmly in the kid’s mind.

True, in some cases you may wink at the issue, but in other cases, graver issues ought to be punished. It’s not an easy task to distinguish between the two, there are no hard-and-fast rules. You should be a judge yourself. Or you can ignore whining at first, but should the kid persist, remind him or her that it may result in consequences. Then wait for some more.

If the kid does not obey, tell them to stop whining at once – otherwise, they will be punished immediately.

Remember that if you let the kid overwhelm you and make you steam up, you have lost the round. Punishment should be meted out calmly. By driving you mad the kid achieved the purpose of securing negative attention and will try to do it next time too.

Practice Positive Parenting

As you set yourself the task of improving your kid’s behavior you should do well to re-consider your interactivity. Discipline maintained with love and consistency must be at the core of your relationship. Positive parenting and positive attention are going to ensure you a strong bond with your pre-teen through his or her teenage years.