Dealing with the Attention Demanding, Apathetic or Angry Child
The Attention Demanding Child
Is your child an attention demanding child? The attention demanding child is usually loud and has a negative attitude toward authority. They will force themselves into peer groups and will become the non-conformist to get attention. This type of child will do everything possible to let their parents, teachers, and other children know that they exist.
To deal with the attention demanding child, you may want to start by having a sit down with just you and the child. Ask what problems they are facing and what insecurities they are feeling. After the talk, try to look for things that the child has done right and compliment them. Anything to bolster their ego and to let them know you recognize them
The child needs to have visibility, so create a leadership role for them. You need to be firm with them during the behavior, but do so with a polite and friendly voice. If the child needs to talk to you, take the time to talk. If you are a teacher and the child wants to go to the counselor, then let them go without asking the question why. Don’t ignore the behavior, it will get worse and the behavior will not go away by itself. Give attention but always discuss other options with the child.
The Angry Child
Angry people do not get very far in life and an angry child is just an angry adult ready to join those ranks. If your child is mad all the time at themselves, others, or over situations, you as a parent need to change the behavior before it becomes out of control. If your child strikes out either verbally or physically at others including authority figures, there is not much room for emotional growth or social growth and something needs to be done. The following four tips are some tools for your tool box in dealing with the angry child.
First, even though your child is angry, you need to stay calm. You need to keep your cool and deal with the behavior professional and not personally. This will allow you to detach your own emotions of anger or disappointment and just deal with behavior and the child displaying it.
Next, don’t threaten the child when they are angry, even when they say they don’t care what you do to them. Give them a consequence if they fail to get it under control, but to tell them they will be punished if they don’t stop being angry just doesn’t make much sense.
Look your child in the eye as they talk to you. Let them finish their thought. It is more frustrating not being heard, most of the times, than what made them angry in the first place. It is best to let the child run out of steam and settle down before you begin to talk about a solution or consequence to the problem.
Finally, you might want to take the “I’m sorry,” position. If you tell the child you are sorry for them being angry at them it transfers the negative energy. Ask the child what you can do to help them from being this way. Taking a stance with the child instead of against the child can make a world of difference.
The Apathetic Child
The apathetic child is the student who will not enter into classroom discussion and pretty much doesn’t care about anything. Most apathetic children have a very short attention span and will be absent from school or tardy to class. Most responses that you receive from this type of child is “I don’t care, or leave me alone. Most of the time this behavior is a result of the child feeling like they have no worth or they feel rejected by friends and family.
The best way to turn around this behavior is to involve the child with an engaging task that is short term and can be accomplished easily. You have to get involved with the child so that the child becomes involved themselves. Give the child a responsibility and ownership of a role in the classroom. The student probably doesn’t see it as his or her class and the thought of ownership in a classroom or even at home is beyond their grasp.
Every opportunity you have, say something positive about the student and how you as an adult want them to be successful. Sometimes as a teacher or as a parent you have to lower your standards to help this child. As a teacher you might have to forget make up work or homework in able to let this kind of child succeed. Never ignore the student or allow the student to get lost in your class. The student may give up on themselves, but the parent or teacher never should.
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