Children Constantly Demand Parents' Attention


I have 5 kids: 3, 5, 7, 10 and 13. The 7 and 10 year old kids (boy and girl) are very needy. This neediness will bleed off into the younger kids as well. From the moment I come home from work they are practically begging me to watch them or spend time with them, interrupting my wife and I and hanging around us until we tell them to leave us alone, usually exasperated (they often prefer to hang with us than go outside and play). My wife and I are working at not giving them much attention (per Dr. Rosemond’s advice), but it doesn’t seem to be changing their behaviors. An interesting dynamic occurs when my mother (their grandmother) is around. We just had a weeklong vacation with grandparents and the kids were not needy of us at all for the whole week. My mother (grandma) was very engaging with them and gave them lots of attention. But after awhile of her giving them attention, the kids went off to play and left her and the rest of us alone. She has a very dynamic personality and loves to talk and is also a retired teacher, whereas my wife and I are quieter personalities and not as dynamic with the kids. So, do you think the solution to the neediness of my kids is more an adjustment of our communication skills (since my mother doesn’t seem to have any issues) or continuing to try to reduce attention as often recommended by Dr. Rosemond?

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