I am at my wit’s end! My school-aged son constantly needs my attention. Summer’s here and I just don’t think I can take this behavior all summer long! HELP!
Running on Empty in Atlanta
Well, at least you’re in good company! I get a lot of requests for help with this “attention addiction” children seem to have. My recommendation is immediate detox (no tapering off!). Starting tonight, ignore your son. If you are reading a book and he wants your attention, simply say “You do not need a mother right now. Go find something to do or I’ll find you something to do. Run along, now.” And continue reading. If he continues to beg for your attention, send him to his room for the remainder of the day and make his bedtime for the rest of the week 2 hours early. You need to treat this problem swiftly and strongly to break the addiction your son has on you. Within 2 weeks, you’ll enjoy more free time and, most importantly, your son will learn that he can entertain himself!
One note: you may find that you have been enabling your son’s behavior by doing too much for him. Consider increasing your son’s household responsibilities and decreasing your input on homework, activities, etc. and things may improve even faster.
Good luck and let me know how things are in a couple of weeks!