Power of

A crash course

When do kids get
the least attention?

When kids are quiet and behaving well, parents often ignore them. Why? Silence can sound like a sweet, peaceful melody you don’t want to interrupt.

The level of attention kids get when behaving nicely is often very low.

When do kids get
the most attention?

When kids are acting up, they tend to get everyone’s full attention. And they know it.

The level of attention kids get when being rowdy is often very high.

What's the issue here?

Kids will keep the mayhem going, if misbehavior gets an exciting rise out of you. With every strong reaction, they become more likely to repeat the misbehavior again next time.

When a child acts out, parents often:

  • get close to children
  • make eye contact
  • say the child's name
  • use physical contact, like grabbing

In this moment, the child is the centre of your world. Sudden doses of attention can trigger intense emotions from your child, so hold off before jumping to react.


From here, flip the script. Catch your child being good and show excitement for it! The more excited you get about good behavior, the more thrilling it is for your child. Kids will want to keep up good behavior once they see the glorified attention they get for it. Attention and closeness are powerful driving forces in a child's behavior, so use it wisely.

Now that you know more about the power of attention, you can be strategic about how and when to offer it.