Some children will pull out all the stops to acquire the attention they desire. If your kid is prone to engaging in attention-seeking behavior, consider ways in which you can combat this tendency. By dealing with your child’s constant attention-seeking head-on and taking steps to reduce the degree to which your child tries to be the constant center of attention, you can produce a healthy and more mutually respectful relationship between you and your child.
Seek aside togetherness time. As FamilyEducation reports, children are more likely to seek attention constantly when they do not feel like they aren’t receiving the attention they require. Before you turn your attention to trying to reduce the prevalence of attention-seeking behaviors, create togetherness time to ensure that your kid is getting time with his parents.
Praise the child for positive behavior. Many parents, busy with their daily lives, fail to remember to focus on the positive. If you only turn your attention to your child when he does something bad, he is more likely to engage in negative behaviors as he sees that these behaviors get him more attention than positive ones. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, take the time to praise regularly. The extra time you dedicate to praising will pay off in the long run, as you will not have to spend as much time punishing your child.
Ignore misbehaviors that are attention-seeking in nature. While you certainly can’t ignore all misbehaviors, you can ignore those aimed only at getting your attention. For example, if your child is dumping the toys from the toy box in an attempt to get you to chastise him for making a mess, don’t give him the attention that he desires. Instead, wait until clean-up time and require him to pick up the toys he dumped as a natural consequence for his behavior.
Avoid allowing yourself to become angry. If your child can get a rise out of you, he will see that his behaviors have a serious impact on your emotional state. If you can stay cool as a cucumber, he will instead see that nothing he can do can have a major impact on your mood. Whenever possible, approach your child calmly and speak in a normal volume. By hiding the anger that you obviously feel, you can reduce your child’s desire to engage in attention-seeking behaviors, as it will seem to him that his efforts have no effect.
Use time out as a no-attention needed punishment. The best punishment for a child who is acting out to receive attention is not to give him the attention he so desperately seeks. To punish your child without turning your attention his way, place him in time out and require him to sit alone, away from attention, for a set period of time.