October GRG Connections
Attention Seeking Children
From Sue Bartolomeo, GRG Program Coordinator
Every child needs attention! For some kids, the only way to get attention is by misbehaving. It may be as simple as doing things to annoy you or disobeying any house rules. Some children act this way not because they like to get yelled or screamed at; it’s basically because they enjoy the attention and fuss their misbehavior brings.
There is no one answer on how to deal with a difficult child or attention seeking behaviors. Here are 5 simple suggestions:
- Do not encourage your child’s attention seeking by responding to his behavior.
- Ignore the misbehavior and continue your work, “pretending” it doesn’t bother you. By not acknowledging his behavior, the child may continue the behavior, but will eventually realize that it does not get your attention.
- Give positive attention where needed. Try to spend some one-on-one time with your child. This is what a lot of people term as “quality time”.
- Catch your child displaying appropriate behavior. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated. So does every child. Some easy ways to acknowledge good behavior are: a simple smile, a “thank you”, or “good job”, and a big hug.
- Take time to talk with and explain situations to your child. Talking to a child one-on-one, can sometimes give him enough direct attention that he is satisfied and will not act out to receive more.
Children’s attention seeking behaviors can be caused by many situations. There is no one way to respond. The fact that you are a concerned parent, searching for different solutions and trying to understand the needs of your child, shows you are a good parent.
See You at Eight
By Mar – a West Palm Beach Grandmother
Discovery and discipline are subjects that create a lot of stress between the children and caregiver. One way to be sure you have all the facts and there is no rush to discipline is to give yourself time.
Time allows you to settle down, collect all the information needed and time to form a reasonable discipline or teaching moment. It also allows you to share with your spouse and come to an agreement so there is no going back and forth between you.
Kids love the divide and conquer method. It takes the spotlight off of them. One method to do this is to call a family meeting at eight PM. It has been quite successful in our home.
After a couple of these meetings your children know what is coming: the rules, the expectations and the decisions. By having a couple of hours on their hands, you will be surprised how often they will eventually come to the table and start off with a full confession and even a suggested consequence they feel is reasonable. Even if they don’t, the three or four hours they are waiting is misery in a basket for them.
So put time on your side. See you at eight.
“Actually, 90 per cent of spankings and the like are simply parental temper tantrums.”
From 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. New Revised 2nd Edition by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.
Reading Resource Suggestions
1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 By Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. (ISBN 0-9633861-9-0)
“The Answer is NO” – Saying it and sticking to it: Help for Parents of 2 to 12 Year-Olds By Cynthia Whitham, MSW (ISBN 0-9622036-4-5)
Boundaries with Kids: When to say yes, when to say no to help your children gain control of their lives. By Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (ISBN: 0-310-20035-0)