Most teachers have at least one child who seems to need attention all the time. These children often use inappropriate behavior in order to get attention throughout the day. I’ve put together a 5-minute training video that outlines my 4-step planning for helping attention-seeking children.
Here are the highlights:
Children who need attention often don’t get their needs for social interaction met at home, or they have not developed good enough social skills to get them met at school. They are usually STARVED for attention and they need to be “fed” when they are acting appropriately.
Step 1. Schedule time. Plan when you will be able to spend time with the child. Sit next to him at snack or invite him to read to you one-on-one. Greet him warmly when he arrives and spend an extra minute talking with him at the end of the day. Have honest, authentic interactions. Find out more about his likes, habits, fears, and hopes. Think about connecting. Ignore the minor infractions and try to give positive attention at least once each lesson.
Step 2: Plan social interactions. Plan ways he can interact with other children in a successful way. Pair him up with a child who has excellent social skills for buddy activities.
Step 3: Send home positive notes. Once a week, send a note that describes a couple of positive things that the child did that week. Do not share the minor negative issues.
Step 4: Help connect child to other adults. Ask the child to bring a note to the office, help the teacher assistant set up lunch, read with the social worker, or spend time with the librarian putting books away.
These four steps will quickly make a difference and interrupt the negative cycle of misbehavior that attention-seeking children use. These steps will help meet the child’s need for social interaction, and restore order to your classroom. Click here for the training video. Download the 4-Step Planning Sheet HERE.
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