You expect bouts of attention seeking behaviour from a three year old. They don’t understand the ways of the world at that age. It does not seem unreasonable to them to rant, scream and generally misbehave until they get what they want. Parents put much time and effort into teaching moderation, give-and-take, decorum. If you’ve had the misfortune to be cooped with an attention seeking child and ineffectual parent combination, you will know how irksome it can be. Christos Tsiolkas describes a similar poser in “The Slap”. Violence isn’t the answer. There are two well-defined methods for approaching the ineffectual parent of a misbehaving child and they’re both useless.
Children grow up, maybe despite their parents. Most, though certainly not all, lose their tantrums. Do they lose their attention seeking behaviour? I think, if you don’t think about it much, you answer “yes”. But take a step back and ponder a moment. How much of all human endeavour is attention seeking behaviour? Whether you’re an actor, model, musician, architect, manager, gardener, writer, priest; how much of what you do is to seek the attention of your peers? Sure, you have to make a living and use your talents to get on in the world; that’s a given. Do you hide your light under a bushel meantime?