Books about parenting can be a great resource in coming to grips with your child’s attention seeking behavior. Attention seeking behaviour in children is common and usually nothing to worry about, but many parents worry about what parenting strategy they should use. There is a wide rage of approaches from surrendering to your children all the time to always sticking to your point.
Most people would say they have no pre-determined parenting strategy; that it comes naturally to them and they do what they feel is best. Others don’t feel comfortable unless they have read the ‘manuals’ and have a proscribed method to follow. Whichever school of thought you belong to, the problems you face are the same. Attention seeking behaviour is a common issue faced by parents and here are some strategies to deal with it:
1. Don’t usually respond
Children try to get noticed by you. Whether that is positive or negative attention, if they get a result from their actions they will do it again and again. If you always respond (positively or negatively), then the behaviour is likely to be repeated. Part of the parenting strategy to deal with problem needs to be to ignore it sometimes.
2. Promote good behaviour
Your child requires attention. Make sure they get positive attention for positive behaviour. A positive parenting strategy like this encourages further good behaviour as the child will see that it gets more results than their negative behaviour.
3. Devote quality time with your child
Make sure you spend enough time with your children, and let them know that the time spent was special for you. Even if it is only 10 minutes, tell them that it is their special time with you and do something worthwhile. It’s no good cooking the dinner and trying to talk to them while you’re doing it – the child won’t see that as attention. Any parenting strategy should build in dedicated time with your children every day.
4. Say your limits
Depending on the age of your child let them know that you do have other things or other children to deal with. No parenting strategy will eliminate the need to do your chores! Sometimes a response such as “I’ll play the game when I’ve finished the laundry” will stop whining and nagging, but only if you follow through when you say it. There’s no point saying “in 5 minutes” and never get to the 5 minutes. If you can, get your child to help you with what you are doing.
5. Know how to handle it if it gets too much
Sometimes attention seeking behaviour can be part of a bigger problem. If you have serious worries about your child’s behaviour, see your family doctor, who will be able to advise you and put you in touch with other agencies that can help. If you think you’re getting too worried about your child, then you must get some help, and many doctors understand such problems. Unfortunately no parenting strategy will lead to a stress-free life. And through all this stress, you can find solace in books about parenting that are widely available and that can guide you on exactly how to deal with this sress.