Even the best behaved children can occasionally turn into experts at pestering their parents for the latest gadgets, clothes or toys, and dealing with a full-on tantrum can be one of the most difficult things a parent has to cope with. The easy way out is obviously to give in to the tantrum and allow the child to get what they want, but in the long run this strategy is just going to cause bigger and more dramatic tantrums.
Stick to Your Guns
One of the most important parts of being a parent is having a certain degree of authority over your kids. Children shouldn’t be scared of their Mum or Dad, but they have to know that when you say no, you mean it. Children who think their parents’ minds can be changed with a bit of whining will whinge and whine to get their own way, so from an early age let your kids know that you mean what you say and that no amount of crying, screaming or throwing tantrums will
change your decision.
Children are not stupid, and soon work out that if one adult in the house refuses them something, you just go to the next adult and ask them too. It is therefore important that all adults in the house are singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to parenting, so that the kids don’t play one off against the other. Parents should always back each other up in major decisions concerning the way the children are parented.
Saving and Reward
Even very small children can understand the idea that if they want something particularly expensive or a large toy they have to save up for it. Rather than indulging your child with everything they want, make them a chart where they have to colour in blocks, or climb a ladder to the goal, and allow them to fill in a square each time they have been good or done a chore around the house. It might be unrealistic to expect a child to save all of the money required to buy a Lego set or a doll’s house, but being asked to contribute a proportion of the money can help them realize that money does not grow on trees.
Examine Your Own Attitude
Many parents are also guilty of impulse buys and if children see you swooping in on the No Added Sugar clothing sale rail or buying Ugg boots, Mulberry handbags or a Gap hoodie when you don’t really need anything new, they are going to be more likely to pester you for a toy or new t-shirt when out shopping. Even if you are not on a strict budget, it is part of our job as a parent to educate our children about money, spending, and saving and this concept can be introduced from a very young age. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat, but when it turns into a new toy every time you go shopping, you may be storing up problems for you and your children in the future.