The Strong-Willed-Out-Of-Control Kid Is 100 Percent Successful At Getting Your Attention

He enjoys energy and attention. He seeks energy and attention from you too (e.g., your being animated, arguing, lecturing, getting angry, threatening him, etc.). Unfortunately, he has discovered that you are much more energetic, attentive and interesting when he misbehaves.

Attention-seeking children are not out to get you as a parent -- they are out to get your energy, intensity and attention. They want you to be exciting to them. Unfortunately, you are much more exciting when things are going wrong.

So, whenever you use a "traditional" parenting strategy (like arguing, lecturing, getting angry, threatening), it is actually a reward to your kid -- he gets what he wants -- your energy and attention! He is able to push your energy-producing buttons... AND THIS IS EXCITING TO HIM !

Therefore, try very hard not to show any emotion when reacting to the behaviors of your intense, attention-seeking kid (put on your best "poker face"). The worst thing to do with this kid is to react strongly and emotionally. This will just make her push you that same way again. You do not want the kid to figure out what really bugs you. You want to try to remain as cool as possible while she is trying to drive you over the edge. This is not easy. Once you know what you are going to ignore and what will be addressed, it should be far easier not to let your feelings get the best of you.

Points to consider:

· Destructiveness and disagreeableness are purposeful in the intense, out-of-control teenager.

· They like to see you get mad.

· Every request can end up as a power struggle.

· Lying becomes a way of life.

· Getting a reaction out of others is the chief hobby.

· They are rarely sorry for the hurtful things they say and do.

· They often believe nothing is their fault.

· They try to make outsiders believe that the entire fault lies with the parents.

· They try to make parents believe that teachers are mistreating them.

Thus, provide a lot of intensity when things are going right, but provide little to no intensity when things are going wrong. This will greatly diminish the "negative-attention-seeking" behavior of your strong-willed child.

Mark Huttenlocker, M.A. is a family therapist who works with parents of strong-willed, out-of-control teens and preteens. If your child is out-of-control and you're at your wits end, then feel free to use Mark as your own personal parent-coach. Get permanent solutions to your child's behavior problems within 15 seconds from now by visiting his website:

A Message from Mark-

"Dear Parents: For many years now I've been running a very successful "off-line" parent program, but I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to reach out to parents worldwide and help them discover that there really is light at the end of the tunnel. That's when I came up with "Online" Parent Support (OPS). Since its launch in 2004, OPS has overwhelmed users and success rates have been phenomenal."

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