attention seeking child

All children need attention but in the right amount and in a positive way. When children don’t get either, they are more likely to misbehave and be attention seeking by playing up – arguing, pushing, shoving, shouting, over-reacting, lying, getting into trouble etc., with their siblings or with their parents. It can be very frustrating for a parent to see their children behave this way and it can often put parents in a bad mood. It can be exhausting and require so much energy when they play up, so what can parents do? They can start by trying to understand what is going on in their children’s heads and how they feel.

Five Steps To Understanding Your Child’s Attention Seeking

  • The first step is to try and understand the situation. Why did they do that? What did they need?
  • Then ask yourself: What was I doing at that time? How could I have changed the situation? What did they want to show you? Tell you?
  • Then think  about strategies to deal with the situation: How could they get your focus next time? Could you do anything so there is less attention seeking and the behaviour that goes with it?
  • If there is, then brilliant. Work with your child so that you both work with the situation differently and they know you are there for them and there is no need to act out to get your attention.
  • Find time to share activities, have meaningful conversations, engage with them whenever you have the chance. Catch them doing wonderful things and mention them, fill up their love bucket and show them how to communicate effectively.

These steps will definitely help but it may not go away forever. There will be times when our children feel they are not getting noticed enough or not having our attention. Be mindful of your behaviour and be intuitive to your child’s behaviour too – that really helps!

For more information and further reading on parenting a child who is attention seeking, take a look at this book here. Alternatively you may get some great ideas from The Parent’s Toolit.