6 ways to manage a toddler who constantly wants attention

Your toddler is misbehaving to get your attention – and you don’t want to encourage it. Here’s how you can put a stop to it.

Toddlers are so egocentric – they think the whole world revolves around them. And if it doesn’t? They’ll do what they can to make sure it does, says child psychologist, Dr Richard Woolfson. 

That’s why your two-year old tries anything to grab your attention – he even misbehaves to the point where he has a full-blown tantrum – as long as you are entirely focused on no one else.

Related: 10 signs that your toddler is spoiled

There is no easy way around this. 

If you don’t give your tot exactly what he wants – your attention – his tears and uncooperative ways will continue. 

Yet if you respond to his negative acts, he will soon learn that this is a great way to make him the focus of your world whenever he wants. Before you know it, his outbursts and tantrums will become even more frequent. 

You feel like you are trapped. What can you do?

Related: Discipline toddler: 14 secrets only teachers know

For a start, try ignoring him, at least for a minute or two anyway. 

It isn’t easy to stand your ground when confronted by your angry child, but it can be done if you are determined enough.

There is always the possibility that he will calm down, and your delayed response teaches him that you are not at his beck and call.

If he is still acting up after a few minutes, and you feel you can’t ignore him any longer, go over to him. 

Keep calm (even if you are ready to explode inside) and reassure him that he’ll soon feel better if he cools down. You may decide to remove the source of his frustration, for example, the jigsaw that he couldn’t complete.

Related: Dealing with anger towards your toddler

Next page: How to deal with your attention-seeking toddler? 

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