How to deal with a begging child
You can hear it in every grocery store. “Please, mommy! I’ll be good, I promise! Please, oh please!” That’s the more polite child. There is often at least one who has resorted to a full blown temper tantrum. For the parents, this is the height of humiliation, and for others just something to be endured.
Begging children doesn't have to be a choice between giving in (and watching your child morph into a spoiled brat) and having a heart of stone. You can help your child learn how to behave appropriately in the grocery store and around tempting objects like screens and the cookie jar through a few simple tactics.
If you're not planning to buy your child candy or toys at the store and you usually do, tell them up front. Tantrums often stem from being surprised by a sudden change on your part. If you're not planning on getting them that special something, tell them so, and stick to it.
If your child is old enough you can explain to them your reasoning, but for toddlers, it's usually best to keep your explanation short and simple.
Provide just one warning
Sometimes letting your child know up front they won't be receiving their hoped for item that day isn't enough. If begging begins while your at the store, provide only one warning. Use a warning that is clear and simple, such as “If you don't stop begging, we are leaving the store.”
Don't issue any warnings you are not prepared to issue immediately. If they don't stop and you told them you are leaving the store, leave it immediately, even if you haven't finished your shopping. If it is for that day's essential shopping, don't issue that particular warning.
Repeating a warning over and over again simply teaches the child that you don't really mean what you say, and they can continue with the behavior and not worry about it.
Be prpared to repeat this in order to prevent begging
If your child has been rewarded for begging in the past, they will probably attempt the behavior several times before giving up on begging. Be prepared to keep your new rules consistent, and stay calm even when they are doing their best to push your buttons.
Begging isn’t necessarily the sign of a bad child or a bad parent. It is a sign for a teachable moment in the child’s life. While it might be embarassing to be the parent with the child kicking away at the floor, with a little know how you can teach your child how to handle themselves in the grocery store, and give yourself a little peace too.
Teaching kids not to beg isn't just easier on you as a parent, it also teaches them that life does not always give you instant gratification, and can help them avoid adult-sized traps that play on these unlearned lessons—such as overspending and credit card debt.
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