Does he want everything he sees? TV commercials. Store displays. A friend’s toy box . . . . Everywhere a child looks, there are exciting things to acquire.
But children must learn they don’t need it all. The gimme’s can lead to selfish and demanding behavior.
To overcome the gimmes:
- Pre-program your child. Tell him before you go to a store what you will buy. When he sees something else he wants, say, “That’s great. But that’s not what we’re here for.”
- Create a “Wish List.” When your child says he wants something, acknowledge his desire. Then add the new item to his wish list. Say, “I’ll remember it when I’m shopping for your birthday.”
- Turn your child’s wish into a fun game of make-believe. Say, “Wouldn’t it be great if the store manager said we could have one of everything free?!” “Which items would you put in our cart?”
- Avoid saying, “We can’t afford it.” This implies you would buy it if you could. Instead, say something that will teach your child about managing money. “Those are nice, but we could find something just as nice at half the price.”
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