The desire for attention is almost universal in children. Children prefer to gain attention in positive ways. But if they can’t, they seek attention in negative ways. They prefer negative attention (e.g., anger, nagging, etc.) to being ignored.
Solution: Instead of feeling annoyed and attempting to remind or coax, parents must change our responses to show them that they can achieve significance through useful contribution. We must focus on their constructive behaviors, ignore their misbehaviors or pay attention to it in ways they don’t expect it. The appropriate way to give attention is to give it when it is not expected. This places emphasis upon giving rather than getting.
Goal 2: Power
Power-seeking children feel that they are significant only when they are boss. These children are defiant and seek to do only what they want. Some children in power struggles do what they are told but not in the way the parents want it done.
Solution: Instead of attempting to fight or give in, parents must refrain from getting angry and must disengage themselves from the power struggle. Using power tactics to counter our children’s bids for power only impresses them with the value of power and increases their desire for it. Help the child see how to use power constructively by appealing for your child’s help and enlisting cooperation.
Goal 3: Revenge
Children who pursue revenge are convinced they are not lovable, that they are significance only when they are able to hurt others as they believe they have been hurt.
Solution: Instead of feeling hurt, parents must be on guard not to retaliate. As difficult as it will be, they must improve their relationship with the child by remaining calm and showing good will. This helps to convince the child that he or she is loved.
Goal 4: Display of Inadequacy
Children who display inadequacy or inability are extremely discouraged. Since they have given up hope of succeeding, they attempt to keep others from expecting anything from them.
Solution: Instead of feeling despair and agreeing with the child that nothing can be done, parents must eliminate all criticism, and focus instead on the child’s assets and strengths. Parents must encourage any effort to improve, no matter how small it seems. Don’t be hooked into pity and don’t give up.
Finally, remember that all misbehaviors stems from “dis-couragement”. The child lacks courage to behave in an active, constructive manner. A child does not misbehave unless he or she feels a real or threatened loss of status. The misbehaviors is done in the belief that only in this way the child have a place in the group, be it family or school.