Attention seeking or just being a 3 year old?

June 1, 2010 3:53pm CST
My 5 year old has chickenpox so is getting more attention than the 3 year old for a change. Usually she is at school and he is used to getting my full attention, so I'm wondering if his behaviour over the last few days is down to this. He has been refusing to use the potty, instead relieving himself all over the carpet. He gets toys out and throws them on the floor and walks off, without even playing with them. And he has been sneaking pens upstairs and scribbling on the newly painted walls and furniture up there. I can't seem to get through to him, I am just having to watch him closely for damage limitation - do you think this is something that will continue, or just trying to get me to pay more attention to him?
1 person likes this
5 responses
• United States
2 Jun 10
Of course, its for attention, right now his sister is getting it all. I can tell you don't believe in spanking, and that's quite alright but better watch him close or this tantrum could become a long term problem.
@peedielyn (1210)
• United States
3 Jun 10
It's an attention thing. I have a 4 year old step-daughter who just turned 4 recently. Her dad , my beau, has 2 other children. While he treats the others badly or make poor decisions with them, he is also doing "justice" by making sure the 4 year old gets all of his attention. She sticks to him like glue. He is constantly buying gifts for her, babying her, letting her stay up until 4 am and then being grumpy the next day because he is tired. We all get treated badly in the way of this one. When his older daughter started her monthly, he made sure she had what she needed at the tune of about $10.00 (mind you she NEEDED these things) and went out and bought the 4 year old a $40.00 tricycle, and a $26.00 babydoll "to make sure she didn't get left out". The 4year old started acting out. We can't have along time in the bedroom, because this kid is at the door at 3 am hollering. If she does something as bad as pulling her pants down in public, I have to repremand her. It's time to sit your little one down and explain things to him. Sit him in a room with crayons or something to hold his attention or ask him to help out like a big boy. Sometimes encouragement totally takes over the needy part. He will feel like he's getting the attention he needs by helping and you telling him how good he's doing. So far, it's working with our little heathen.
@zralte (4184)
• India
2 Jun 10
I have two daughters, elder one is almost 3 and younger one is going to be 1 this month. I noticed that my elder one is always seeking attention and is jealous of her sister; especially when it comes to her dad. If my husband is holding the little one, the elder one always do something to get attention. I noticed that she gets better a little bit when I explained to her that we still love her and we also love her sister, and that since her sister is still too small we need to look after her. I tried to tell her that it is not because we don't love her anymore. Sometimes it feels like she understood, but then she is not even three yet, so she forgets it sometimes. I have to make her do time out sometimes, if she continues doing something, even after I told her not to three four time. Try to tell your son in a calm voice that you need to take care of his sister because she is sick, it is not because you don't love her. Let him be involved in something that he can do, like fetching drinking water or something. Make him feel useful. That might do the trick. If it does not, explain to him that if he continues disobeying you, he will have to do time-out. It is hard, very very hard for me to make my daughter do time-out.
@cicisnana (775)
• United States
2 Jun 10
It definitely sounds as if he is seeking attention. Sis is usually at school as you say and he is used to having mommy to himself for a better part of the day. And he's too young to understand that sis is sick and really needs mommy right now. Hopefully your daughter will be better in a couple of days and back to school and your 3 year old will probably resume his normal routine.
@syndibee (799)
• United States
2 Jun 10
He is definitely attention seeking at this time. The negative attention he is receiving from acting out is better than the less attention now that his sister is home sick. He is old enough to explain to him that his sister is sick and doesn't feel well. Have him help you in the care of his older sibling. This will help cement their relationship as brother/sister and yours with him as well as help keep him busy. Think of odd jobs to give him to do to keep him busy. Let him know he is helping mommy and you really need his help. Praise him for helping etc. As for the potty incidents. Make him clean it up. Just tell him, I'm sorry you had an accident now you need to change and clean it up. Give him a rag and a change of clothes and leave him to it. Don't change him or clean it up for him because that is what he is looking for. He wants mommy to be taking care of him instead of his sister.