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  • Candice Maurer

Play Now For Better Listening Later.....

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

I'm sure you've heard this a thousand times !!! Playing with your child is one of the best ways to connect, but not only that when you play with your child you are actually making deposits into the attention bank! Yes, that's right the attention bank, and you can use that currency to help your kids to listen better. In the world of Applied Behavior Analysis we call this non-contingent attention. When I work with a family who's child is struggling with problem behaviors be it tantrums, physical or verbal aggression, or refusal to follow instructions I usually find that one of the reasons the child engages in these behaviors is to seek adult attention.


Sounds crazy but it happens! Kids are wired for attention and when they are not getting healthy doses of positive input at the right times they will do whatever it takes to get it even if its negative attention. Does this mean your child is deprived of attention and you are a terrible parent? No, not at all. It simply means we need to adjust the time and the way you are giving your child attention. Small adjustments in your habits can make a world of difference in your relationship with your child!


Here are three simple ways to intentionally make deposits into the attention bank and increase your child's listening skills later in the day!


  1. Take 10 minutes at the beginning of the day or before a difficult activity and play with your child. The most important thing is to be fully present and let your child take the lead and pretty much do what they say to do with the toys. Do not give any demands at this time and make sure you are making lots of comments on your child's play like......... "you are feeding the baby, you making dinner it smells good, you are making the cars go soo fast, your super hero is going to crush that bad guy...."

  2. Make make morning comments maybe before you start your crazy day make it a point to sit on the porch, the couch, in bed, wherever you land! give you kids a deep hug I mean really give them a good long squeeze and notice things about them... their hair, cloths, eyes ect...... say things like " I see you today, your eyes are the bluest blue, you are still wearing pj's, ...... ect." Just make it a point that they are noticed.

  3. Color together. Simply get out the crayons and the coloring books and spend time coloring together. During that time just notice what they are coloring.... " you are coloring with red...... you are making his face silver, you are coloring the flower red.... ect."



#playmore #non-contingentattention

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