The Importance of Positive Attention In A Child’s Development

Positive attention can be empowering for anyone, regardless of age. But did you know that it can play a significant role in your child’s development? Positive attention may help to reduce behavior problems in your child as well as increase feelings of love, security, and confidence. As the parent, this is your chance to show them how much they mean to you. By providing your child with even 10 minutes of undivided attention each day, you may notice your child becoming more obedient, not to mention growing up to be a kind and compassionate individual.

What Is Positive Attention? 

In simple terms, positive attention is engaging with your child with warmth, praise, interest, and kindness. Here at Wake Forest Pediatrics, we recognize the importance of spending your time as a mother building your child’s strengths and finding ways to communicate efficiently. To learn more about the benefits of positive attention on your child’s development, continue reading. 

Reduce Poor Behavior

We get it, dealing with bad behavior throughout a child’s development can be exhausting. But, did you know that positive attention can help to reduce that poor behavior in children? In fact, the Child Mind Institute suggests giving kids positive rather than negative attention is much more effective in changing behavior. If your child lacks attention altogether, they may be seeking that attention in other ways. Giving praise for behavior you want to encourage gets better results than calling out things you want them to stop doing.

Create A Stronger Bond

Because positive attention places its significance on being attentive and emotionally available for your child, it often results in a stronger bond between mother and child. A good bond is wonderful in any child’s development. And while practicing positive attention with your child, don’t forget to be patient with yourself! It is expected as a parent to lose your cool from time to time. Recognize in changing your child’s behaviors that you may need to alter some of yours, too.

Increase Confidence

Confidence is a wonderful skill to model throughout your child’s development. Confidence can help a child feel ready for all of life’s experiences, including meeting new people, accepting new challenges, and engaging in new opportunities in a poised and optimistic manner. Over time, with positive attention, your child will be able to learn the differences between right and wrong, helping them make better decisions and boosting their self-esteem and confidence. 

When To Give No Attention

Yelling at your child very rarely solves the root of an issue. Instead, some parents opt to withdraw their attention when their child is having a temper tantrum. This is referred to as “selective ignoring.” This conscious decision to ignore negative behaviors is an attempt to reduce your child’s negative behavior’s effectiveness in getting attention or what they want. The goal of this in your child’s development is to teach them there are other ways to get their needs met rather than exhibiting outlandish behavior.  

Ways To Practice Positive Attention

The more positive attention a child gets, the more likely they are to reduce negative attention-seeking behaviors such as crying, screaming, and throwing tantrums. Positive attention can take a number of different forms, including, but not limited to:

  • Hugs, kisses, and high-fives
  • Smiling at your child and paying close attention when they speak
  • Making direct eye contact and using caring facial expressions
  • Encouraging your child
  • Celebrating successes
  • Asking follow-up questions
  • Making time to spend one-on-one with your child
  • Showing interest in your child’s interests and activities

When your child feels supported and loved, they’re more likely to feel confident and safe in the world. Positive attention is important for any child’s development, and a few minutes of focused attention each day can greatly impact your child’s life. The board-certified pediatricians and staff at Wake Forest Pediatrics use a comprehensive approach while focusing on teamwork and open communication with patients and parents. If you have any questions about your child’s health, development, or the importance of positive attention in your child’s development, give us a call at 919-556-4779 or request an appointment.

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