6 ways to handle your attention seeking child

By now everyone understands that we humans are energy beings, who need energy to survive and thrive. Most people understand that we receive this energy from sunlight, air, water, food and thoughts. And a few people also understand that we receive energy through human attention – where attention goes, energy flows. That’s the reason we all seek attention.

Children seek attention

Children are natural attention seekers. They need a lot of energy because they expend a lot of energy. If you do not pay enough attention to them, they will do something that will surely ‘draw’ your attention. Yes, your children know you more than you know yourself!

Ways of seeking negative attention

Some of the ways of drawing your attention could be:-

1. Screaming

2. Shouting

3. Crying

4. Fighting

5. Hitting

6. Sulking

7. Carrying tales

8. Breaking things

9. Making noise

10. Behaving badly

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11. Not eating

12. Eating too much

13. Not sleeping

14. Sleeping too much

15. Falling sick

16. Disobeying

17. Rebelling

18. Being ‘bad’

19. Earning rebuke

20. Showing off

Ways of drawing positive attention

a. Clowning or being funny

b. Excelling at something

c. Displaying talent

d. Obeying

e. Being ‘good’

f. Earning praise

Positive Vs. Negative energy

While both positive and negative attention make the energy flow towards the child, the negative attention depletes the parental energy and still leaves the child unfulfilled. The positive attention, on the other hand, nourishes both – the giver as well as the receiver. It also promotes all round excellence in both.

How to convert negative attention into positive attention?

There is only one way to do it. STOP paying any attention to the negative behavior and START paying extra attention to the positive behavior! If the child will not receive any attention for a particular behavior, they will stop indulging in it. (It is like leaving a job if you are not paid any salary for doing it.) It may not happen overnight, because they will test you again and again. But if you can refrain from paying any attention – whatsoever – very soon the child will give up on that behavior.

At the same time, you MUST find something good about that child’s behavior/ being to pay extra attention to. Because the child still NEEDS energy that only attention can give. If you withdraw attention altogether, the child will not be able to survive/thrive. You have to give attention, but with awareness – consciously choosing the behavioral aspects that you would like to encourage in your child.

Is it easily doable?

No, it is not. It will take co-operation between all the adults present in the child’s life – including the teachers. It will take collective effort at all levels to refrain from offering negative attention. It will take a tremendous amount of patience and TRUST – trust in yourself, trust in your child, and trust in the Universe. But the results will be well worth it. They will pay dividends all through your child’s life. This investment of your time, energy and patience will be far superior to any other investment that you might make to secure your child’s future – and to ensure their lifelong success.

Try it. It’s worth it!!

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