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Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4660
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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My son is 7 years old. His father and I broke up over a year

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My son is 7 years old. His father and I broke up over a year ago. But lately, my son is always trying to hug me, talk over people when I am having a conversation with them, and he has been showing some sexual behavior towards me as well. I have tried to talk to him about this, I tried to tell him I'm concerned about it, and I am trying to figure out what's the healthiest way to promote him to stop this ?

Hi there,

Welcome to Just answer !

Well your son who has undergone an emotional turmoil by witnessing separation of the two most important people of his little world , has thereafter developed a sense of insecurity and fear of loosing you. This dread / fear about loosing you is evident by his display of what is called as Attention Seeking Behavior which entails acts like frequent hugging . cuddling , interrupting your conversation with others so as to remain in your sight , intimate behavior towards you which you are interpreting as sexual behavior but it is actually is attention seeking behavior to get noticed plus it may be governed by his age appropriate milestone of sexual orientation and exploration.

So here the main issue seems to be Attention seeking behavior and the tactics which are used by him as tools to display this behavior.

So I am mentioning below some important steps that you shall start applying in dealing with His attention seeking behavior.

-- Special time between the two of you -- You see your son in the wake of his insecurity regarding you is vying for your attention all the time therefore creates odd , sometimes embarrassing scenes to seek it , so now you plan out special time sessions with him which are exclusive for the two of you without any intervention from an outsider. In these sessions there may be book reading , video game play , taking a stroll together or going on a picnic , making some meal together . The main motive will be to make the child secure regarding you and thereby make him stop his attention seeking tactics.

-- Positive reinforcements -- This entails giving child rewards for good disciplined behavior such as gifts or eatables of his liking so as to make him differentiate between do's and dont's.

-- Punishments -- This will entail grounding him , taking away his liberty to play with his friends or to play video game , etc but it should not be physical punishment in any case.

-- Ignore the mis-behavior but it the child-- If he throws tantrums , then give him his due punishment but once he has done that , you shall continue to behave in a very cordial manner , this is to be done so that the child in no way feels violated and contempt and learns the right behavior through proper training and parenting.

-- Be consistent in this behavior.

-- Seek child psychologist help if no improvement seen after 6-8 weeks of rigorous attempts in the above mentioned pattern.

Kindly see the link below for more information on Attention Seeking Behavior ..

I hope this helps.

Wish you all the best.

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