Attention Seeking


It’s quite normal for children to want their parents’ attention. However, if this becomes a regular habit, it can lead to further problems with the child’s behavior. Children tend to misbehave to gain your attention but one should not give in to their demands everytime as it can lead to issues with discipline in the future. Every child needs attention but some need it more than the others which can become a little profuse at times.

You don’t have to put an end to your kid’s need for attention and approval. If managed appropriately, your children’s need for attention can be very useful for enhancing their behavior. What needs to be abolished is the attention-seeking behavior that is unacceptable and excessive. Such behavior often crops up if it has helped children obtain what they wanted in the past. It is best to not give into the nagging as it can turn the need for attention into demands for attention. They resort to tantrums and outbursts if their demands are not met so it is important to figure out the reason behind their behavior. The reasons may be logical or illogical but if the child feels that she is not getting enough attention from you, she will do anything in her power to get it. It’s quite common for children to behave in inappropriate ways after the birth of a sibling. They tend to become jealous as they no longer have your undivided attention. Children seek their parent’s approval because they see it as a reward. Parents tend to indulge in three types of attention namely positive attention, negative attention and no attention. Positive attention means that you appreciate the good behavior of the child. Spending a specific amount of quality time with them on a regular basis is part of positive attention. You could also praise and encourage the child or hug and kiss her to show positivity from your end when she listens to you and behaves well. It is easy to start an argument with your child and react to her negative behavior but it is the worst thing to do so far. Giving attention to inappropriate behavior will mean giving negative attention. This happens when you become upset and give in to their tantrums and demands which ultimately leads to scolding and lectures. It is not advisable to pay attention to such misbehaviors as it does not act as punishment but rather increases such acts. Children learn to influence, exploit and get their way and this is taught by parents who don’t appreciate their appropriate behavior but pay attention to their misbehavior. It’s not a deliberate action but when you ignore the positive and attend to the negative, you teach them to behave in a negative manner. 

There are other factors to take into account as to why children bring out the act of attention seeking. The inability to express themselves emotionally, hidden anger over an issue, trouble at school or with friends could be some of the reasons for attention seeking behavior. Not the best idea to tag your child as an attention seeker before interrogating the problem or the need for such behavior. Every parent goes through this phase with their child and a good way to improve this situation would be to spend more time with your child everyday and ask about what is happening in their lives.


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