The ME ME ME Virus or attention seeking children are everywhere! Everywhere you look, people are demanding attention! The desire for attention is universal regardless of age, color, language, culture, etc. As adults, we want our bosses to notice us and our spouses to talk to us. We need to feel important and heard. It’s the same way with children as they demand our attention. Children want to seek attention in positive and useful ways but if they can’t get it that way, then they will seek attention in negative and useless ways. Some yell, some cry, some want to be yelled at, some talk too much at the wrong time knowing they are doing this inappropriate behavior.
There are 2 kinds of noticing behaviors: the “me” behaviors or help “me” behaviors. In the notice “me” behaviors, you may be faced with eating problems, showing off, acting the clown, interrupting or whining. In the help “me” behaviors, you may see laziness, untidiness, forgetfulness or pretending to be incompetent. Children use these actions against teachers and parents when they seek attention that is not found appropriately.
If you have an attention seeker in your midst, how do you deal with it? I ask you is ignoring the only way to stop negative attention seeking behavior? Do you spend time arguing or getting upset with the child who is looking for answers? What happens if you do encourage, instead, and praise and spend time with the child, will that help? Do you substitute being good with something to ignore that bad behavior? Would that help? What about “one-on-one time? It sure is hard to give that one-on-one time, since 2-7 minutes are spent at home and now in school! Are we all in the same boat? How do you tackle this behavior, as we get them ready with the world??? Need some answers!!!!
Young children learn through their 5 senses; therefore, providing hands-on experience allows children to touch, see, smell, taste, and hear become important. When designing learning environments, teachers should focus on objects and materials they can provide for the children to handle and observe. Many of us have a hard time developing materials from such experiences. Teachers in Pre-school and Pre-K often teach centering on themes. In selecting themes and preparing experiences, teachers need to think about those real objects and materials for the children to explore. Do we think about the ways children can use their 5 senses? One way is to pick a theme and then gather objects and materials. Children must observe, handle, and explore from that theme. With this in mind, we can ensure children in your care to provide these real hands-on learning experiences.
ð Children have more sensitive ears than adults. They can recognize a wider variety of noises.
Here are a couple of examples to try:
Humming a Tune-Hum only a familiar tune like “Old MacDonald,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb” without singing any words. Divide the group into teams and have one team guess the hummed song to win a point.
What Was That? –It is surprising all the noises that you can hear in the classroom even when everyone is quiet. Well, what are they? Listen and share everything you can hear. Find a sound CD, play it one at a time and let the children guess. What can you hear if everyone is quiet?
Responsibility is our third ethical core value. As you know, life is full of choices and it means being in charge of our choices and in our lives. It means being accountable for what we do and who we are. We need to recognize what we do and what we don’t do. We need to grow in our accountability and not blame others for what we did nor claim credit that it was me not him. There are people that rely on our knowledge, willingness and ability to so things for others effectively. Responsibility takes on people who are reliable, careful and informed. Responsible people finish what they start rather than giving up to excuses and obstacles. Responsible people look for ways to do their work better and exercise self-control. They never feel that it’s necessary to win at any cost.
Our next part of ethical core values is “fairness.”
Dilemma about Annette:
She is a program administrator with Developmental Services. Annette’s daughter Carrie is a best friend with Jane, the daughter of a legislator who happens to sit on the senate’s Children and Families committee. The DA overheard Annette discussing an upcoming party to celebrate Jane’s birthday. Carrie and several other friends have been invited to go to Disney World for the weekend to celebrate Jane’s birthday – all paid for by Jane’s grandfather. Annette is considering attending the festivities as a chaperone since there will be five 13-year old girls. The DA is somewhat concerned because of the position Jane’s father holds.
Question: As the DA, what is the right decision?