The ME ME Virus or Attention seeking children
Everywhere you look there is someone demanding attention! The desire for attention is universal in all people, regardless of age, color, language, culture, etc. As adults we want our bosses to notice us, our spouses to talk to us. We need to feel important and heard. In the same ways, children demand our attention. Children seek attention in positive and useful ways but if they can’t get it that way, they will seek attention in negative and useless ways.
A mother’s son likes attention but its not usually for the good behaviors: he likes to be looked at, yelled at, cried to, and likes to be the center of his world. This mother being an attention seeker, too, likes nothing more than to be in the spotlight but usually for making sure that it’s for accomplishments. Her son takes after her and can often be seen talking too much at lunchtime at school or talking loudly at the wrong time.
These are the notice me behaviors or help me behaviors. In the notice me behaviors, you may be faced with eating problems, showing off, acting the clown, interrupting, whining, etc. In the help me behaviors, you may see laziness, untidiness, forgetfulness, pretending to be incompetent etc. Children use these actions against teachers and to make parents stay busy with you.
If you have an attention seeker in your midst how do you deal with it……..?
• The only way to stop negative attention seeking behavior is to IGNORE: IGNORE: IGNORE!!
• Make sure you take time to give children positive attention. If you don’t give them this, they will go to the next best thing which is the negative! Sometimes we often spend too much time arguing or getting angry, than to find time to encourage, talk with, praise or spend time with children.
• Catch them out being good and again ignore the bad and make a big thing of the good!
• Make sure to give one-on-one time with each child. Maybe you will notice one that feels neglected or un-important.
• Help children see that the world and family doesn’t revolve around them.
An Attention Seeking child is using the best way they know how to let you know they need more attention. They may not have a sense of belonging. They may have a low self-esteem and may need some confidence building. Sometimes the child is simply immature. (I know a lot of adults who feel this way too…LOL.)
An interesting point to leave you with is that in America, the average parent spends a maximum of 7 minutes with their child one-on-one per day and so maybe children are really trying to tell us something!
What about you? Are you spending time praising good behaviors or are you concentrating on bad behaviors?
In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story. Walter Cronkite
For 13 weeks, we have focused on “How the Child Thinks and the Way the Teacher Reacts” on key emotions: boasting, lying, envy, jealousy, patience, kindness, trustworthiness, honesty, anger, rudeness, self-seeking and proudness versus how the teacher reacts to these key emotions needed in the child’s overall education. This all happened because of a verse in the Holy Bible, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, When I became a man or woman, I put childish ways behind me.” (1 Cor. 13:11). So I thought about us! Do you recall your childhood days? What were they like? So maybe we did talk and think like a child. Now as an adult and experienced, it seems we still need to talk and think on a child’s way of thinking in order to teach and share. It’s not an easy job these days! So, we have one more emotion to tackle-LOVE!