ATTENTION (positive and negative)

When you think your child’s behavior might be a problem, you have 3 choices: Decide that the behavior is not a problem because it’s appropriate to the child’s age and stage of development. Attempt to stop the behavior, either by ignoring it or by punishing it. Introduce a new behavior that you prefer and reinforce it by rewarding your child.

Attention for our and other caregivers is important to your child. Toddlers and preschoolers demand a lot of adult attention . Attention can be both positive and negative.


          Positive attention is used to show your child he has done something you like.

          Positive attention includes things like;      

     Praise, hugs, kisses, pats on the back, high-fives


Negative attention lets your child know you do note like what he has done. Negative attention includes things like;

Scolding, correcting, yelling

There are two key things to remember about attention;

Any attention (positive or negative) your child receives right after his behavior increases the chance that the behavior will happen again.

Negative attention becomes a problem when we use MORE than positive attention


Any attention you give your child’s behavior makes the behavior more likely to happen again. So, if you give your child attention after he does something you do not like, the misbehavior can increase.

You can decrease misbehavior by limiting the negative attention you give. Ignoring is another good way to limit attention for behaviors you do not like.


Ignoring can help you reduce your child’s misbehavior. Remember that children love attention. Negative attention like screaming or yelling can be rewarding to a child. This is true especially if you were not paying attention to your child before the misbehavior started. By giving your child attention during tantrums, you may accidentally reward the behavior and increase the chance it will happen a again. When you ignore some misbehaviors, you can make it less likely your child will do the behavior again.


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