Tantrums and Attention-seeking

Is your child's inappropriate attention seeking or tantruming becoming a problem?

'Time Out' is a widely used consequence for this type of behaviour. It is really hard to ignore inappropriate attention-seeking. Becoming angry and telling your child off can increase the behaviour that you're trying to stop. Ignoring can be effective with minor problems. With more serious behaviours such as throwing and destructiveness, try not to react to the behaviour and, instead, redirect the child, eg "Let's do some building," rather than talking about the throwing. 

Technically, all forms of ignoring can be described as 'TIme Out'. More organised ways of removing attention include turning away from, or isolation of, the child. Be careful with isolation however as it has to be safe for your child. 

Other provisos include:
- trying to apply the consequence out without any reaction, not even looking at the child.
- be prepared to stay with him/her. Many children will surprisingly sit quietly waiting and watching until Time Out is over, while others won't.
- isolation needs to be ended after a specified time period, usually one minute for each year of the child's age.

If you want further advice about this often misused consequence please contact me on (022) 413-6577 or email ray@powellpsychology.nz