After all the time and effort we put into parenting , you ’ d think our children would know how loved they are . You ’ d think they wouldn ’ t have any need for more attention . After all , don ’ t we give them attention constantly ?! The answer is probably yes , but the deeper question is what kind of attention are we giving ? The kind that makes them feel joyfully loved or the kind that makes them feel like a nuisance we must tolerate or another chore to check off . Ooof , harsh , right ? But think about your typical daily interactions lately and do an honest inventory of how many of those really communicate “ I enjoy you .”
When we ’ re giving negative attention or no attention at all , kids begin to starve for belonging and connection . They will take a negative connection over no connection at all , so they begin to resort to behavior they know will elicit a reaction from you . They may get a big response from you when you yell or scold them , but even that negative response is a reward because they were noticed and therefore a connection was made . Unfortunately , this makes them more likely to repeat that negative behavior again , and a cycle ensues that nobody enjoys . Rather than fueling the negative cycle , you can use these two simple ways to connect and make them feel loved , thereby ending the need to seek out your attention in negative ways .