The child gets older and slowly demands a lot. But not everything is easy for me to satisfy, what do we do when we encounter a situation like this? Public places, and most frightening of all, an out-of-control child kidnaps a powerless parent. Before buying, it’s about money management, choice management, the child’s boundaries, the ability to parent-child cooperation, parenting most taboo to be emotionally abducted, and so is the child. When Ta has an emotional meltdown over a toy, and instantly your blood pressure rises to 180, your heart rate skyrockets, and your hormones soar, the more knowledgeable child will also become one that drives you crazy. Adults who happen to be vulnerable, tired, worried about being blamed, and ashamed become “two out-of-control children’s farce”, and the tug and tangle becomes the online “bear parents and bear parents”. —What would be better?
Many parents will use the following methods to solve problems.
Approach I: Denial of the child’s desire to buy
“No, there are so many cars at home, you still have to buy them. You broke the car you just bought you last week, and you don’t value toys at all. Don’t buy it!”
This is why the term “terrible two” is used, which is an awakening of their self-awareness. With the awakening of self-consciousness comes an unprecedented expansion of aspirations, and they will have all sorts of desires to fulfill, all very specific and clear. For example, My kid Tommy used to say “no” to everything, but now one of his favorite sentences is “I want XXX! I want the doll! I want it!”
This is their first experience of what it feels like to express their inner desires, and they need the response from their parents to form a self-awareness. If we respond to the child’s wishes as above, the child receives the message, “I don’t deserve it, I’m too greedy, I don’t deserve what I want.” This feedback forms the child’s inner voice, which in turn forms the child’s self-perception.
If, as a child, every time she says “I want XX”, she gets hit like this, then gradually, the child will not be able to express her desire firmly and courageously anymore, and when she grows up, when she has a dream in her heart, the voice that was hit and denied as a child will appear and she will not dare to pursue her dream.
Mode 2: Compromise satisfaction due to crying child
“Oh, the baby wants this, we’re not buying it. Gee, don’t the baby cry, be good, we’re out. Okay, okay, I’ll buy it for you, you don’t cry, you promise to be good and I’ll buy it for you.”
It’s also very typical of a situation where a child compromises because he or she is crying, and will buy things in exchange for being good. There are three downsides to such a treatment.
First of all, we clearly send the message to the child, “As long as I cry, even if at first the parents don’t agree with something, eventually they will compromise.” This leads directly to the fact that they will use this ploy to force their parents to compromise on everything else.
Secondly, we buy gifts for our child as a quid pro quo; she needs to be good to have toys to be rewarded. In the long run, the child’s intrinsic motivation is gone, and she doesn’t spontaneously think that I need to understand things and that I need to be reasonable. Rather, these inherent qualities are based on external incentives. Naturally, when there is no such external incentive, she will not behave; or when she wants something, she will use “unruly” to get there.
And most crucially, when we satisfy our child so easily each time, she acquiesces to the fact that she deserves it all, and the child who grows up in this situation becomes very unappreciative and thankful for what he has. Growing up, he is especially prone to fall short or become particularly material when he finds his desires and abilities don’t match.
Way 3: Recognize your child’s wishes and turn today’s “no-buy” into expectations and plans
“Oh, you especially wanted this car model. Really, this car is so cool and the baby loves it so much. But it’s not in our shopping plans for today, so let’s write that wish down and wait until the baby’s birthday. Well, what month is the baby’s birthday, November, now it’s August, and there are 1, 2, 3 months left. Wow, it’ll be available soon!”
This is the way I will often use it.
First of all, instead of cracking down on the child’s wishes, I expressed that I heard what you wanted, “You particularly, particularly wanted it.” At the same time we recognize the child’s desire to be “really cool”. The first step of empathy and recognition is crucial, it’s in telling the child that any desire, big or small, is worthy of encouragement and recognition (honestly, it may be in our eyes that the child wants a toy, but it’s the most important one for the child at the moment). Then in the future it will be easier for the child to be clear about his or her dreams and determined to achieve them.
And when we do empathy, we are actually helping the child to flesh out their desires, to put them into words. Many 2 and 3 year olds are still immature in their verbal expressions, so they will always “say” things with their actions (crying, throwing and even hitting). When we help them to decode their desires, we are actually enlightening them with language as well. So that next time, when he wants a toy so badly, he may not just say, “Yes”, he may not cry when he says no, but he may start to learn to use this little negotiation technique to further tell us “why”.
After that, we need to set some boundaries for our children that “not everything you want will come right away”. We can start by stating the fact that “not in today’s plan”, that is, telling the child that it’s not because you don’t deserve it, it’s just a priority. At the same time, we can help our children turn today’s “no-buy” into an expectation.
For the preschooler who does the above step just fine, and for the post-schooler, turn that expectation into an effort of his own, “If you want it faster, maybe you can make money by working part-time / we can make a savings plan.” This is also telling the child that wishes need to be fulfilled by their own efforts.
Never make up for your guilt of absence with a toy. Some children have a very strong desire for toys and always want everything. In fact, children, like us, shift this demand for love to outside substances when they feel unloved and unappreciated.
And many parents are used to compensating for their guilt over not being able to be there for their children by buying them toys. So when we find that our children are becoming more and more desperate for a variety of toys, it’s time to stop and review whether we’re getting less quality company. In fact, many times a child may only need half the gift, but needs twice as much of our company.
Often, it is also our own values that are refracted in how we confront our children’s material desires. When we are very “lacky” within ourselves, and need to be constantly filled by buying things, so must our children be; when we are ashamed to talk about money and feel that material things are particularly bad, we unconsciously pass this shame on to our children by evaluating their behavior.
It has always been said that “to meet a child is to meet a better version of yourself”, and I have experienced this for some time now. If I hadn’t come across this whole baby-buying-toys thing, I never really would have quieted down to examine and sort through my values and money views. In this age of material consumption, we can’t avoid not talking to our children about money and material desires. But we ourselves need to be clear.
Not buying toys doesn’t mean not loving children.
The rejection of the child is not the same as the need to strike the child’s courage to say what he or she wants.
To talk about material things is to want the child to understand that some happiness can be bought, but there is more happiness that is priceless.
Emotional abduction is the most taboo part of parenting, and so is a child. When Ta has an emotional meltdown over a toy, and instantly your blood pressure goes up to 180, your heart rate skyrockets, and your hormones soar, the more knowledgeable child will also become one that drives you crazy. Adults who happen to be vulnerable, tired, worried about being blamed, and ashamed become “two out-of-control children’s farce”, and the tug and tangle becomes the online “bear parents and bear parents”. —What would be better?
- Isolation in the first instance. As a parent, be sure to tell yourself “I’m limited” and isolate your child at the first opportunity when you encounter such things, so that too many outside eyes will not interfere with your way of dealing with them.
- Dialogue with the child. Soothe and understand the child’s demands, and then, in your social state alone, engage in empathy, dialogue, play interaction, and role-play a set of “routines”.
- Material management. Each appointment shopping list, toy selection, let the child know about money management, the range of choices, daily planning, help the child understand the meaning of “toys”.
- Establishing a choice mechanism for the child. The more toys, the better, and too many choices can be a great way to let your child be indulgent and indulgent, and to make daily choices with your child. This way the child is less prone to scarcity.
- It is more important to “play” than to “buy more”. Ta can also know that in addition to buying and buying, it can also create and rebuild, which helps the development of the child.
Whether it’s scolding or negotiation, democracy or control, it shouldn’t keep the child caught up in our meltdowns and inconsistencies. Deal with the rational brain after the emotions cool down.
Children are not unintelligent and no one can behave when they are out of control. Don’t turn all conflict into ripping, and afterwards help your child establish rules, problem solving, and mechanisms for handling emotions.