attention-seeking

(7 Posts)
lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 14:21:26

If a child does things to get attention, why is it so bad to give them some attention there and then and ask yourself if they need more attention generally? (If I felt ignored and asked for some attention, i'd feel even worse if my plea was ignored).

Ditto leaving children to cry their eyes out when they go to nursery. Conventional wisdom says let them cry, day after day until they learn that it won't make any difference. Why not ask yourself instead if there is something wrong at nursery, or even that the child just isn't ready for it?

My children are long out of those stages now and I did the nursery thing as recommended but it felt wrong and looking back, it was the wrong thing to do.

grants1000 Wed 20-Mar-13 16:00:13

Depends what it is, breaks something or hits you to get attention that no, if they pester you when you are on the phone than no. But if they are wanting attention because they feel sad, lonely upset etc then yes. I think as a parent you can tell which is which. Ds1 now 10 cried everyday I left him the two days a week a pre-school, but as soon as I was gone he stopped and went off the play and had a great day. If he'd been crying for for more than 15-10 mns and would not stop I would not have left him, found another solution. I don't think they is always an underlying reason, it could just be because they are in a pattern of behavior, nothing deeper that thatn, and new better behavior needs to be learned. It's never as black and white as right or wrong, I always do when I think it best for my children and no what everyone else says or thinks.

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 16:17:04

I put DS1 into nursery when he was 2. There wasn't a good reason why I needed to do it, I just thought that's what people do and he'll learn to be in a different environment.
He cried every time and the nursery staff all shooed me away. Then when I went back to collect him, his key person would tell me that he'd cried for only 2 mins and then been quite content.
One day, I left but waited outside of the door and listened. DS cried for half an hour. Then I heard someone shout at him. Then he whimpered. I left anyway not feeling too happy but wondering if it was a one-off? I asked the key worker again at home time, and she said what she always told me.
So I made an appointment with the head who made me feel such an idiot for considering pulling him out.
I left him for a while longer and then we moved house so he had to leave. But I look back on that time as my first mistake.

RubyrooUK Wed 20-Mar-13 16:17:44

I think context is everything.

When my toddler bashes the TV with a plastic dinosaur to get my attention because I am taking two minutes to hang out the washing, that is attention seeking. I don't think it's particularly bad, just requires a bit of patience on my part.

On the other hand, I never thought it was remotely attention seeking when my son cried as he settled at nursery. Since birth, he has always found being away from me hard and it was a new environment. That's why I spent over a month settling him, so his tears were short lived and he learnt I was always coming back. Always.

I don't really believe in "attention seeking" as a bad thing. Sometimes my son is badly behaved to get a reaction from me over small things but I never see him being upset as anything other than deserving of attention because he is sad.

RubyrooUK Wed 20-Mar-13 16:57:13

Lisson, it seems like your post is not so much about attention seeking but about your regret at leaving your DS at a nursery where you now believe he wasn't happy.

That is completely understandable but please don't beat yourself up too much. Perhaps your son was happy most of the time as the nursery said. And if he wasn't, then you moved on and took him out of that situation.

You were trying to do the best thing at the time for your child. We all do things where later we think we handled something badly or didn't get it right. So don't beat yourself up. It sounds like you are very caring and responsive as a mum.

lisson Thu 21-Mar-13 10:01:23

Thanks. I do regret it, but I know that I've always done my best since.

I was posting more with hindsight because DS is 10 now. I was looking at an old photo taken when he was 2 and he looked so sad. What I have learned down the years is not to be influenced by other people's views on how children should be raised. Take advice, yes, but don't do something that instinctively feels wrong such as ignore a crying baby (aka "controlled crying") or write off your child's distress when being left at nursery or school as normal. I think I was too impressionable in the past.

Right now, there is a new issue. DS went from happy go lucky, to grumpy and very irritable in the space of a few months. It turns out that he was having problems with his teacher. He has problems doing handwriting and she thought constantly berating him about it would solve it. But she was wrong because although he tried to do better, he just couldn't.

School is another place where the professionals dealing with your child really like you to butt out, and DS's current teacher gives the impression that she'd put landmines around the classroom if it would stop parents speaking to her! However, I eventually decided that DS wouldn't be able to resolve it without my help, so I went into see the teacher. As a result, she backed off from her constant criticising and DS's mood improved. However, her genuine concerns about his writing prompted me to try to help him. One thing led to another and now it turns out that he has a learning disability which has gone completely diagnosed throughout his time in primary school.

The lesson I keep re-learning is don't be bullied into doing things that don't feel right.

So my OP was just a what-I-would-do-differently-if-I-had-my-time-again sort of post.

MaryRobinson Thu 21-Mar-13 12:47:35

One of my younger ones used to be so upset going into to nursery. By the time I had brought her older sister upstairs to her section she had stopped. I always used check, and in my experience they do stop very quickly. Even one girl who cried a lot at the start within a couple of weeks had friends she was happy to see.

But I agree that it is better to give the attention rather than being stingy

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now