May 28, 2021

Maintaining positive attention towards your kids is a crucial component of their healthy development. It is easier for a positively attentive parent or guardian to raise upright kids than strict disciplinarians.

Positive attention has brought new breath of air in the parenting arena. We no longer need to raise kids with the old principle of spare the rod spoil the child. With a little paradoxical shift, your child can be who you want them to be without sweating over it.

Most parents, guardians and educators tend to be reactive to their kids’ behaviors. They punish, rebuke and do all they can to discourage the vices. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t always yield positive results, especially because kids direct all their energy where there's attention. That’s where the positive attention approach comes in. 

This method entails encouraging your kid’s good side. Instead of rebuking them, you praise their good deeds. By so doing, you encourage them to develop the good traits and abandon the vices.

How to exercise positive attention

There is no distinct way to show positive attention to your kids. It takes myriad forms depending on factors such as the kid’s age, hobbies and understanding.

The idea is to be descriptive as much as possible. Ensure that the child clearly understands why you are praising them. Some of the ways you can display positive attention includes;

  • Giving the child a peck on the cheek
  • Paying attention to the child’s good performance
  • Give them a high five
  • Giving rewards
  • Verbal praise
  • Participate in activities the kids love

Maintaining celebratory and happy demeanor

Positive attention doesn’t mean allowing bad traits to thrive in the kid. You need to practice what experts call active ignoring. This means withdrawing your attention from the child’s negativity. That will show the kid that you are not happy with whatever they were doing. Then, you can give them your attention when they abandon the bad trait.

Rather, instead of actively ignoring the bad behavior, you can redirect the child gently. You can ask them to do something else until that phase has passed. You can circle back and discourage them from repeating the act.

There are several pros of using this method when dealing with kids. Not just yours, but also professionals like tutors and guardians can use it when interacting with children. Below are top advantages of positive attention to kids;

Top benefits of positive attention to kids

1. Boosts child’s confidence

Positive parenting gives rise to self-confident children. That constant appreciation and appraisal makes the kids aware of what is expected of them. Overtime, they develop a specific perspective of what is right and wrong. Their self-esteem blossoms and this helps them deal with social challenges better than their peers.

2. Builds trust and safety

Parental presence and approval are crucial during a child’s formative years. When you encourage them in their small milestones, they feel loved and safe. They develop trust in you and always feel safe around you. These are important elements in every child’s development.

3. Need-based communication

Positive attention keeps you on intentional communication mode. All your interactions with the child are geared to achieve a goal; making your child behave in a certain way. You are basically nurturing certain values while pruning others. With time, your kids familiarize and realign themselves with your expressions and communication cues.

4. It helps with behavioral change

A child who experiences positive attention is bound to change when they receive a negative expression. Contrary, negative criticism have little or no effects on a child that doesn’t experience attention.

5. Helps to develop responsible traits

If you bring up your child with positive attention, they learn and grow under your guidance. They’ll strive all their lives to follow what makes you happy. In the long run, you end up with responsible children and later adults.

6. Create a strong bond

If you are the type to participate in activities that make your kids happy, you develop a strong bond with them. Showing positive attention requires sometimes you take part in your kid’s hobbies. Giving them that undivided attention makes them feel loved and appreciated. The end result is you become close friends and confidants.

7. Affirms your care

Despite their age, kids are able to distinguish who cares and who doesn’t. Your actions are one of the avenues they use to know whether their parents or guardians care. So, your positive reactions are an affirmation of your care. They not only want to hear you speak about it; they want to experience it.

8. Does away with negative effects of punishment

Punishing your child because of a mistake may have a negative consequence on them. You may not notice it right away but develops overtime. The child may become resentful, rebellious and outright unruly. Basically, they turn out the exact opposite of what you want them to be.

Others become frustrated second guessing their every move due to low self-esteem. They lie in fear of being punished because they think they are bad people. Doing away with these effects and building holistic coexistence with your child again is a toll order. 


Emotional intelligence is key if you want to become an effective parent. No matter how provocative a situation might be, exercising control in front of your child is the best way to teach them. Besides, kids learn more from actions. So, they’ll pick your reactions when confronted by an overwhelming situation.

Instead of wasting your energy to rebuke negative behavior in your child, spend most your time building on their strength. Positive attention has proved to be a worth shift from the traditional upbringing. Focus your attention to their good deeds and with time, they’ll be putting all their efforts towards the things that make you happy and eventually, becoming the children you want them to be.