New early childhood professionals sometimes hear from others that some children “just want attention. They will misbehave to get any attention they can, even negative attention.” Providers who hold this view tend to believe that children know how to act better, but “out of selfishness” they demand more of the adult’s time than they “deserve.” A related idea is that providers who give “too much attention” to individual children are showing favoritism and are “spoiling them.” Hopefully most providers move past these outdated notions. These professionals know that at a deeper level than attention, young children want and need personal affirmation as worthwhile individuals and worthy members of the group.

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