Posted By On April 4, 2017

Who doesn’t like attention?  The problem is that we as parents pay much more attention to our kids when they behave badly than when they are good.  In episode 109 we look at the different kinds of attention and what to do about it.  The reality is that our children misbehaving is OUR FAULT.

There are 3 kinds of Attention:

  1. Positive Attention – This can be affection, praise.  We typically do this when they are well behaved.   We give them approval.
  2. Negative Attention – Giving them attention when the misbehave.  This can be yelling, lectures, threats.  This is still a reward.  Let me repeat that: Negative attention is still a reward!  It teaches them to interrupt you, annoy you, behave rudely, etc.
  3. No Attention


The problem is that children want attention all the time.  If they don’t get positive attention, they will still want it and negative attention provides that.

We give so much more negative attention than positive. So the answer is to give positive attention and they will want more of that.

You and your brother are playing so nicely together
– You should be really proud of yourself for reading that entire book
– I really appreciate that you put your clothes away
– It was very nice of you to let your sister choose the television show.

In our meetup group, one of the dads was telling a story about how his 6-year-old daughter would often complain of a stomach ache.

Of course, they would cater to her and give her attention.  She has now come forward saying that her stomach didn’t really hurt.

These are difficult situations because you can’t discount when a young child says they are in pain or struggling.  It’s a hard situation.

So we ask the question: Can you give