Now that the holidays are in full swing, I for one definitely need a reminder of how to better handle pester power (x3).

‘But I want it, Mummy!’

It’s the cry you dread, especially in public when a refusal to give or buy your child something you can’t afford or disapprove of, leads to a screaming tantrum. The temptation, of course, is to give in. However, if you can bear it, sticking to your guns presents a perfect opportunity to reinforce important and positive messages to your child about boundaries and personal values.

Why does my child do it?

It’s important to recognise that just as we adults live in a world of endless choice, so do children. Advertising to the under-5s is a multi-billion pound global industry. Toddlers may not possess advanced language skills, but a tempting display of sweets at their head height in a supermarket, or colourful TV ad between toddler programmes sends out a powerful early message. One study found that 69% of three-year-olds, for example, can identify the symbol for McDonald’s.

Bar moving your family to a remote Pacific island, however, there is little you can do to remove the constant temptation for a new toy or sugary sweet from your child’s life. You can, however, use each situation to reinforce the following positive messages: (more…)

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