Dealing With your Preschooler’s Nagging and Negotiating
When your child wants something, does he nag you till you have no option but to give in to his demands? Read on to know how you can deal with your little one’s constant nagging and negotiating.
1. Learn to Say No…and Keep Saying it Till They Get That You Mean It
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Say no each time your kid makes demands for things that she wants, but doesn’t need. It’s easy to say no a few times, but what happens when she keeps saying the same thing over and over again? Most parents crack and give in, and lose control in the process. This is because ‘the no method’ is effective only when a no remains a no till the very end. Of course, this is easier said than done. If the nagging gets too much to handle, play deaf or simply walk away. Seeing your indifference, your child will stop badgering you after a while.
2. No Doesn’t Work? Move On to ‘Asked and Answered’
Coined by parenting expert Lynn Lott, this phrase will help your child to cut down on or maybe even eliminate nagging and negotiation. When your child asks for something, such as a fancy pair of shoes, first tell him a no. Then, when he asks for them again, simply say, “did you ask me for new shoes?” When he replies with a yes, ask him, “did I answer your question?” Again, when he says yes, tell him, “You asked me a question, and I answered it. I am not going to change my mind, so don’t ask me this again.” If he continues to ask you the same question over and over again, simply say, “asked and answered.” Rest assured, he will get tired hearing the same answer, and he will stop asking.
3. Next, Acknowledge Good Behaviour
When your child listens to you without arguing or throwing tantrums, appreciate her by telling her, “you did the right thing. I am proud of you.” Your praise will motivate your little one to repeat good behaviour, just so she can be praised again! At times, you can even reward her with a little treat or gift. Make sure you don’t do this too often though, as your kid might associate good behaviour with rewards, and expect them each time she behaves well.
4. Finally, Inform Family, Friends and Caretakers
Wouldn’t it be a shame if your hard work is ruined by your own parents, friends and relatives? Consistency is the key here. Let the people in your life know how they should handle your kid when he throws a tantrum and refuses to listen to reason. In particular, keep your parents informed, as grandparents are famous for giving in to the demands of their grandchildren. Explain to them that their indulgence—although natural—will make your kid unlearn what you are trying to teach him.
Initially, you will experience more nagging, negotiation, even crying with these methods. However, over time, you will notice a marked improvement in your child’s behaviour.