Dealing with an attention seeking child.

All children need attention, but some need it more than others, and it can be overwhelming to deal with.

Some children are naturally more attention seeking than others and it can be quite hard to handle for parents especially if it becomes a common occurrence. There are some ways you can help a child that constantly seeks attention and hopefully these tips will give parents some guidance.
  • Figure out why? – Is there a valid reason why your child would be seeking your attention more than usual? Has your current situation at home changed for example or have you had another baby? Or has your child started school and is struggling with the routine the school day brings. For some kids, there may not be any reason behind their behaviour other than that they are bored and look to stir some attention in whatever way that they can.
  • Look out for triggers and avoid those situations if possible- Your child may become needy and seek attention because you are on the phone or have some friends over and it is up to you to try alleviate those situations and find a way that your child doesn’t feel threatened by your lack of attention on them. If you are having friends over and would like an hour to talk to them consider buying your nipper a colouring book and crayons and encourage them to do some pictures while you chat to your pal.  
  • Consider your child’s age- If your child is of toddler age it is quite normal that they will be attention seeking as at this age they are unable to be independent and will look to you for everything. However, if your child is nearing tween age and are still causing ructions as way of attention seeking it is time to put the foot down and have a chat with your kid about unacceptable behaviour.
  • Talk to your child in a calm setting- Rather than punishing your child for attention seeking and screaming at them, take a break after their little tantrum or attention seeking moment and go back to your child after everything has calmed down. Once you are both cooler have a frank talk with your kiddie about their attention seeking and how it isn’t acceptable and that should it continue you will need to find a punishment as their behaviour can’t go on.
  • Ignore your child’s guilt trips- Don’t be manipulated and allow your child guilt trip you into thinking their attention seeking is your fault for being busy or whatever else your nipper comes up with!
  • Give your child positive attention regularly- It is easy for a parent to notice bad behaviour yet never comment on your child’s good behaviour so ensure you praise your child for little things that they do to help you or if they behave well at dinnertime. Children need to get some sort of compliments from you and it might stop them acting out for attention if they get some when they are good instead of bold. 
  • Set boundaries and be consistent- Give your child a clear set of rules for the way they behave and how attention seeking will not be tolerated. Be consistent and don’t allow your child to be the boss and then let things slide as you don’t want to cause a fuss.
Written by Emma, staff writer with and Irish mummy blogger. Check out her own blog at

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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