Why Do My Kids Misbehave to Get My Attention? [video]

Recently, Connected Families Co-Founder Lynne Jackson sat down with Connected Families Coach Chad Hayenga to get his thoughts on why kids misbehave to get our attention and how we can help them to get our attention in healthy ways instead.

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Click above (or click here if you can’t see the image) to watch the whole video, or you can download a written transcript here.

We highly recommend watching the whole five minutes, because Lynne and Chad cover some important reasons for kids’ misbehavior as well as three helpful, practical tips to help kids get attention in healthy ways. Here is a snippet from their interview:

One of the things that our kids learned early was that if they were to do something overtly disobedient they would get our attention! Undivided attention, even. And with lots of energy, right? We would just give them all this energy for this misbehavior. And so we worked at helping our kids have a language for what they needed. So they could actually say, “Dad, I need attention.” And this is something that we’re teaching our four, five, six year old kids — to ask for what they needed. And they were even able to identify that sometimes they would do things that weren’t so good and they would get this attention, but they could just ask for it and we would give it to them. This happened to me. Three times my daughter came up to me and said, “Daddy, I need your attention. Daddy, I need your attention. Daddy, I need your attention.” And the last time she said, “Daddy, I need your attention, and if I don’t get it I’m going to have to go do something bad.” And I went — “Ohhhhhhh!”  

Frustrated by constant discipline challenges? Take 15 minutes to read our free ebook 4 Messages All Children Long to Hear: A Discipline That Connects Overview.