In a not-too-recent post, I wrote of the issues we were having with our daughter and a severe case of negative attention-seeking behavior.
As promised, I set out on a mission to test out a hypothesis that more focused time with her one-on-one would help decrease the negative attention-seeking behavior and replace it with choices and actions that would gain her positive attention from her parents, peers, teachers, and caretakers. I was the first one to question this theory and say that more discipline was the tried-and-true answer. However, I tried the old ways, and they no longer held true.
Counsel from my parents, my mother-in-law, and child psychology sites all led me to the conclusion that my child might just not know how to communicate just how much she missed me and missed having my attention for more than a few minutes a day.
Since my last post, we have read together, hung out watching Trolls and the original series of Full House (not all of it yet, but if she’s into Fuller House, she must see the originals I grew up on!), baked with her Easy Bake Oven and our Elf on the Shelf, built LEGO sets, went shopping together, and just had plain old talks about life.
Miraculously (at least it feels that way!), her behavior has improved leaps and bounds just over the past few weeks! We have almost no issues at home, rarely any issues in after-school care, and only the smallest misstep with school.
I have no idea if this will work on every child (since they are all so uniquely different), and traditional punishment discipline had always worked so well in the past in our family, but I can tell you that it was certainly worth the try to put the breaks on giving her negative attention and take a detour down the positive-attention lane.
If you have any success stories to share with driving out the Negative-Attention Monster in your family, please share! If you haven’t tried spending more focused, deliberate time with your kiddo(s), I definitely recommend trying it!!
There is no set rulebook for parenting; it is all trial-and-error. However, if we keep the focus on what’s most important: developing healthy and happy little ones, we all win at this game of motherhood.