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How to deal with a child demanding attention?

Q: My son (only child) aged 9 years 8 months old is studying in the 4th standard. He is being cared for by his grandparents till we reach home in the evening. He was doing very well till his 2nd standard but from third standard he is not concentrating on his studies and even this year he is not doing well at school. He always wants to play, talks to himself (cartoon conversations) and keeps repeating the cricket commentary. He is always playing cricket in front of the TV by switching on to channels where cricket is telecast. I am very worried about his studies and also his behaviour. I agree I am not able to give much of my time to him or his father due to work pressure. Can you please tell me where I am going wrong and advise how should I go about it? Is it a symptom of attention deficit disorder?

A:As you seem to understand yourself, your child seems to be demanding more attention from you by engaging in such attention-seeking behaviours. Not doing well in school is almost always guaranteed to attract parental attention and the child understands this very well. As well it could also be that your child is feeling neglected and is thus not able to pay attention in school. In todays society where both parents are working it is not unusual for children to demand attention in many ways. If you are not able to alter your work schedule you may want to atleast alter your activities so that you are able to spend maximum time with your child when you are at home. Engage in fun activities with him and make sure that he feels loved and important. Talk to his teachers at school and see if they can give him some extra personal attention for sometime till he overcomes this phase. Though the behaviours do not suggest attention deficit disorder, it may be worthwhile to see a child psychologist personally to rule out any functional or behavioural problem. Be sure to give him as much of your time and love as possible. Good luck!

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