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A harrowed parent and a bawling toddler standing in the middle of the supermarket aisle, negotiating a purchase; sounds familiar? This could well be any of us with our little ones.
Parents, especially first timers, feel obligated to be at the beck and call of their little ones, to give them whatever they want and to avoid their tears at any cost. However, children are quick to catch the cue and turn more demanding, pestering incessantly for one demand or the other. When that happens, parents are overwhelmed, and at a loss about how to handle it. Here we bring to you tips and suggestions on how you can tackle your pestering toddler, without losing your temper.
In today’s times of constant bombardment by various kinds of media, it is impossible to keep your child unexposed. It also means exposure to various brands that are playing out their messages in the most adorable ways, meant to attract the child’s eye. This, in turn, leads to the child’s demand to have the product in their hand, no matter what the parent feels or says.
Whether it is wanting the extra scoop of ice-cream, one more episode of Dora, wanting to play with the iPad, or demanding the chocolate that has been so attractively displayed on the racks – our young ones are constantly wanting to have their own way; more commonly known as exercising their pester power.
Pester power is very often about toddlers exercising their new-found independence. This is at a time when they have begun to realize that they have a voice and an opinion on most matters, and can make themselves heard.
Here are some quick tips on handling a baby tantrum right in the middle of an impossible situation:
How to Handle Pestering Kids?
1. Explain the Reason
Toddlers, often, understand what is being told to them. Explain your standpoint to the child so that she understands your reasons for refusal. Children may not accept it at first, but will eventually come around.
Many a time, a child’s only demand is to have something of their own. Try suggesting alternatives that both of you will be happy with. If the child loves splashing around and emptying mugs full of water out, let him do this in the garden or near plants. That way the house doesn’t get messy and the child stays happy – win win!
How to Handle Pester Power Outside?
1. Distract the Toddler
Once you have said ‘no’ to any demand of theirs, quickly distract the child towards something that they like. This may be the outdoors, flying around the house, being hoisted on the shoulders, a favourite snack, etc. This allows for the child to forget their original demand and the chances of a showdown will be greatly reduced.
2. Not Giving Them Too Many Options
If the supermarket is a place that your child goes berserk, plan your next trip right down to the aisles where you need to shop. It may be helpful to carry your child’s favourite toy along on the expedition, so that some of her attention is engaged in taking care of the toy.
How to Discipline Kids?
1. Stick To ‘No’
No matter what the situation, firmly stand your ground with your child. Carefully consider your standpoint before you air it out loud, so that it does not look like you have done an about-turn. No matter the amount of crying and baby tantrums at home, do not give in. That way, the child becomes aware that certain things will be out of bounds for her, at home and outside.
2. Discuss It with Your Partner and Agree on the Way Forward
When faced with a situation and wanting advice, quickly convene with your partner and agree on the way forward. A baby’s demand doesn’t take too long to manifest into a tantrum and get out of control. Once you have agreed to the course of action, stick to it no matter what, else, even your little one will know they can play one off the other.
Handling pester power effectively is one of the best ways to teach your child several values also such as, earning treats, sharing with others, fruits of patience and so on. It is about seizing the opportunity that presents itself.