There are some children that need more attention than others. Some will do whatever it takes to get that attention; whether in a negative or positive way. Kids that vie for their parent’s attention want to make sure that their parents see what they are doing all the time. The kid will ask his mother and father all kinds of questions to get a response or ask them to look at a drawing; even while their parents are driving.
Let’s say that you have an eight year old son that won’t stop talking or is talking loudly while you are in the lobby of the hospital or a doctor’s office, what do you do? Your son wants attention from everyone in the room including you. He has become so good at making himself the center of attention. It has become a game for him and he has fun doing it.
He will make sure that you notice him, the patients in the room hear him and the staff get annoyed with him. He wants everyone to know that he intends to talk and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Ok, what do you have to do to stop this behavior? There is one simple answer and that is you need to alter the way that you respond to your son. Instead of complaining or asking him to shut up, you should try to ignore him. Do not show any type of interest in his behavior. This will be very hard for you to do, though, but you have to try.
Here is something that you can do if your child is being obnoxious:
- Get up and leave the room as if you forgot something in the car
This negative attention is not good for you or your child and so you have to put an end to it somehow. Once you walk through that door, it will get your child’s attention. He will think that you are leaving him in the doctor’s office and will quickly stop what he is doing. If you choose to get upset while your child is talking nonstop or loudly, your child will then get more upset and behave badly. Getting frustrated will only lead your child to extreme behavior. You should appreciate the needs of your child as long as his method of seeking attention is not in a negative way.
If your child is trying to gain your attention by showing off a drawing, then this is not negative attention. Do you remember the times when you were excited to show your mother or father something that you accomplished? It is the same thing with your children. Your child loves you very much and wants to get the attention from you that he thinks that he deserves.
Children do better when they are encouraged and that is why when they do something new or accomplish a new task, they look for that praise and encouragement from you. If they do not get it voluntarily from you, then they will find another way to get it.
When your child tries to get you to look at something that he has done and he is excited about it, you should say, “Good job,” or “I like that very much.” Believe it or not, your child will be satisfied with that. They will feel as if you validate them.
A lot of parents underrate how this simple gesture will impact their children. It sends a message that you love, appreciate and accept them. Your children will have a better self image and won’t have this strong hunger for attention.