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7 Ways To Know If Your Child Is Looking For Attention Elsewhere

7 Ways To Know If Your Child Is Looking For Attention Elsewhere

Our children matter so much to us and it kills us to find out that they aren't satisfied with us causing them to go out and look for attention from someone or somewhere else.

Children can be a handful but they are worth it all. They annoy you, they make you laugh, they make you cry and they make you proud to be their parent. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, they start to pull away and you don’t know why. They’re quieter than before, they don’t respond to you and even if you try to get through to them by scolding or punishing them, it’s as if you’re not even there anymore. There is nothing that is getting through to them and it seems like they’re just trying to get your attention. But what if they’re not trying to get your attention and have already gotten it from somewhere else.

Here are 7 ways to know if your child is looking for attention from somewhere or someone else.

1. They are very secretive

You practically don’t know anything about them anymore. They never share any part of their day with you and any time you try to strike up a conversation, they speak with vague answers making it difficult to gauge their moods. You also never see any personal items that they have and you’ve never even met any of the people they hang out with. This may be because they are getting attention from someone else and they feel like they can’t trust you with the details of their life.

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iStock

2. They don't like when you go through their things

They hate you rifling through their things even if you’re just looking to borrow something and are not even looking for anything else. They think you are invading their personal space and will generally pick a fight with you. You could’ve just gone into their room to use a nail polish or borrow a pen and if they find out, they will blow their top or give you the silent treatment. Then they start to lock their doors in an attempt to keep you out. They now don’t want your attention because those needs are being satisfied by someone or something else and by going through their things, you’re unintentionally proving that they can’t trust you.

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iStock

3. They don't respond to your reprimands

You’ve lost hope at trying to get through to them by being nice but you’re done with that and so you start to scold them for their misbehavior. But it’s like talking to a wall because they just don’t care. They might care what someone else would say but with you, they just see you as someone who they happen to live with. This causes a huge rift and will increase their need to look outside for attention.

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iStock

4. Their answers are very non-committal

Because someone else is listening to them or is their safe haven, they don’t reveal any answers to you. They probably feel that what they share with that other person is sacred so by revealing it to you, it breaches that trust. So then, every response to your question is either a grunt or a monosyllabic answer. They make sure that none of their answers reveal anything about the kind of life they live outside of you or home. It’s frustrating because it feels like you’re talking to a brick wall.

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iStock

5. You hear stories about your child that don't match up

If there’s a party or a gathering you’re at where it involves families that know each other, then stories about each other’s children are bound to crop up. Only the stories about your child seem to show a completely different side of your child than the side you see at home. At home, you have to deal with a silent, stoic boy who refuses to talk to you but to everyone else, he is the most lively, outgoing, talkative child there is. When this starts to happen, it’s a clear sign that they’re getting their affection and attention from somewhere else.

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iStock

6. They are causing trouble in school

Causing trouble in school might be a way of getting your attention in particular but maybe it could be because they’re getting the wrong kind of attention and influence from someone else who could be older or a peer. If your child is getting in trouble for smoking in school, then chances are that they are hanging around with the wrong peer group who may be influencing them. Having to deal with that is one problem, while the other problem is having to deal with the fact that your child feels a lack of attention from home even though you try to give them love, care, and attention.

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iStock

7. They seem to have gotten attached to one person outside the family

There is always this one person that your child hangs out with. They could be older, younger or even the same age but somehow you always find your kid with them. You don’t know if they’re a good or bad influence because your child doesn’t want to share and you are worried that your child’s need for attention from outside the house could land them in some serious trouble.

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iStock

It’s always a worry when your child isn’t coming to you for attention. You are unsure if it’s because you’re not giving them enough attention or if it’s because they have chosen to drift off elsewhere. No matter how hard you try to give your child that attention, you are also confused as to how much space to give them.  It’s a confusing time for both you and your child so maybe it’s time to sit down and have a proper face-to-face so that neither of you goes to bed thinking you weren’t good enough for the other.

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