3 Types of Attention – Positive, Negative, & None – We Are Doing it Wrong!

Are we giving our kids too much attention? More specifically, are we giving them the wrong kind of attention? Let’s first go over the 3 types of attention in psychology. The first one is Positive Attention. Positive attention is like affection, praise. We typically do this when our kids do something really well. The second type of attention is Negative Attention. We do this when they misbehave. This can be yelling, lectures, threats. The last one is No attention. This is when we ignore them.

So here’s the problem. Giving them negative attention is still a reward. They are getting attention. Let me repeat this because it is so crucial: Negative attention is still a reward. The problem is that children want attention all the time. If they don’t get positive attention, they will still want attention and negative attention provides that. As a result, you’ll see bad behavior and they still will get when they are desiring.

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