Do you feel like your child is constantly begging you to buy anything and everything they desire? Do you find yourself giving in or bargaining? Like... "If you do X chore, you'll get this amount of money, or this gift in return...." Well, according to Dr. Foster Cline's Parenting Secret: Children do NOT need allowance and in fact shouldn't be rewarded for helping out around the house. So how to you draw the line and when do you give in to the "Gimmees?" Parents Ask expert Elizabeth Pantley of The No-Cry Discipline Solution weighs in:
Q: “I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to take my child into a store. It doesn’t matter if we’re in a toy store, the grocery store, or the gas station - my kid finds something he “must” have. He usually starts out with a gentle plea, moves up to an annoying whine, and eventually works himself up to frantic begging. Help!”
A: It’s a simple equation. Take exciting TV commercials aimed right at kids, and add a peek at a friend’s prized possessions. Multiply the result by attractive store displays. Sprinkle liberally with a child’s natural desires and the result is: THE GIMMEES. It’s a hard lesson, but kids can learn to enjoy window shopping without demanding that they have everything they see. Use some of these ideas:
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Give the shopping list of the day:
Let your child know in advance what you will or will not be buying that day. For example, “We’re going to the mall to buy a gift for Nathan.” When your child makes a request for a toy, remind him, “That looks fun, but remember, we’re here to buy a gift today.”
Accept their wishes:
We all want new things! So, acknowledge your child’s desires, “Wow! That is an amazing game.” Follow this with a statement of why you’ll not be buying it, without sounding reproving, such as, “We’re only buying groceries today.”
Create a “wish” list:
Create a list for your child and keep it in your wallet for future birthdays and holidays. Whenever your child says, “I want this” ask for specifics such as, “Would you want the blue one or the rainbow colored one?” Then pull out the list and add the item saying, “I’ll add this to your wish list.”
Validate your child’s wish for new things and make it fun, “Wouldn’t it be great if the store told us we could fill up our cart with anything we wanted for free!” What typically ensues is a fun game of make believe.
Don’t ever say, “We can’t afford it.” The message is that if you could you’d buy those two-hundred-dollar shoes! Instead make a comment that can teach your child something about making money decisions, such as, “Those are pretty, but we choose not to spend $200 on a pair of shoes when we can find ones we like for thirty dollars.”