QUICK TIP: Discourage Attention-Seeking Behaviors with Planned Ignoring

If your child engages in inappropriate behaviors in order to get your attention, try giving your child a "time out" from your attention. The inappropriate behavior will no longer be an effective way for your child to gain your attention. On the flip side, use positive reinforcement (e.g. attend to him or her, provide encouragement) when your child is seeking your attention in acceptable ways.

Example: If your child is loudly banging toys together in attempt to get your attention while you are on the phone, intentionally ignore the behavior. If your child taps you on the leg while you are on the phone and says "I'm hungry," attend to your child by saying something like "Thank you for telling me. I'll get you a snack."

Questions or thoughts? Let me know!

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