Why Some Kids With ADHD Seek Attention and Play “Class Clown” : Understood

  • Kids with ADHD often use attention-seeking behaviors to mask difficulties.
  • Being the class clown can be a way for kids with ADHD to cope with anxiety.
  • You can help your child develop positive strategies.

Whether they’re cracking jokes, making faces or doing handstands, for some kids with ADHD (also known as ADD), class clown can seem like a role they were born to play. But goofing around in class and elsewhere isn’t all fun and games. Attention-seeking behavior can have real consequences, both in school and out.

Understanding why kids with ADHD seek attention and play the class clown is key. It can help you help your child find better ways to channel his energy and emotions.

ADHD and Seeking Attention

When kids with ADHD draw attention to themselves, they’re usually not trying to be difficult. The funny comments and slapstick routines are a way to draw attention away from the problems ADHD can create. Those problems include impulsivity and hyperactivity, as well as inattention.

Your child may be afraid that his classmates will laugh at him if they realize he forgot his homework, again. He may worry that they’ll think he’s dumb if he can’t answer the teacher’s question because he got distracted. Or that he’s annoying if he blurts something out when he shouldn’t have. Clowning around is often a way to cover for the anxiety and get ahead of criticism.

This behavior might look like:


Source: Why Some Kids With ADHD Seek Attention and Play “Class Clown”

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