Last Sunday, in a gift shop I saw a 3 years old boy, requesting for a toy to her mother. His mother denied with “you already have many cars”. Result was weeping and whining. At the end his mother bought a car for him!!!
This is a very common shopping scene when we shop with kids. Whenever we go for shopping, kids try to touch all the things, demand for many things and misplace few things. Yes, I agree this is really common behavior but do you really think parents can’t control this? No, we can if we want. We can if we are sure what do we want. We can if we know what is right and what is wrong.
I am sure just like me you too want to avoid this behavior and so I am sharing here few steps that I prefer to follow:
Pre-Idea: Before going to anywhere, just give the idea of where are you going and why. If I am going to mall for grocery shopping I prefer to update my daughter with “today we are going for grocery shopping so you can choose any one fruit of your choice and you can help me in vegetables too.”
Set the shopping rule: Set the shopping rules and frequently explain it to your kids. In our house, when we go to shop gifts we don’t buy anything other than gifts. I will definitely give my daughter pre-idea like “this is the time to get gifts. You can help me with your suggestions but we can’t buy anything for you today.” And we really don’t get anything for her on that day.
Praise for positivity: Don’t forget to admire even a smallest co-operation offered by your child. If my daughter says “mom I like this too much. Will you please get this one for me next time?” Then I will definitely praise her with “I really like that you liked it too much and still you are ready to wait for that. I am really proud of you.”
Accept the situation: Even after pre-idea and rules, if your kids ask for the thing, first thing to do is accept the situation. Stay calm and state your decision.
Say No with confidence: If you don’t want to buy the thing because of any reason tell them no, simply no. for example, I prefer to say “oh yes that’s really good that you like it but not for this time.”
It is perfectly okay if they are sad. It’s their right to show their emotions. This is the way they will learn to deal with their emotions and feelings.
Be clear and brief: If reason is simple like they already have that kind of toy then you can simplify it and try to explain it in 1 or 2 sentences but don’t try to
explain everything. For example, I simply tell my daughter that we cannot buy the things we have. Be straight and be clear.
Never change your mind: No means no. Don’t buy anything on that day no matter how much you like something or how much your kids insist for the things.
If you feel that the thing your kid is asking for is really worth to buy then go and get it on very next day or next week as a reward.
Reason is very simple. They should understand the meaning of your No. if you will change your mind depends on things and situations, they will get confused with your decisions and will try to change it. This uncertainty makes them confuse and cranky. Be consistent because on the spot decisions can only give fake hope to your kids.
Show Empathy: They are kids and its perfectly if if they cry once in a while. Ask them politely why are they crying? Show your kids that you know that they are sad and you understand their feelings.
State Strict Rule: Even after your concerns if they don’t stop, state your kids that you understand that they are sad but that doesn’t mean they should show tantrums and that’s not acceptable.
Introduce leave and live: Still if your kids are showing fuss, take them out of shop and go home. Explain them strictly that if they will behave like this, you won’t be able to go for shopping with them. Demonstrate that by leaving them with family or friends to go for emergency shopping. Don’t forget to mention here why did you do that.
Put on Timer for misbehaving: Behaviors like throwing, shouting, screaming hitting are unacceptable and that they have to understand. You have to make them understand that this is not the way to show emotions and for that small punishments are perfectly all right.
Anyhow once in a life they have to understand that they cannot have everything and they have to wait for certain thing. So, start it with small things at this age only or else they won’t be able to handle their emotions at later age too. After all, in life no matter how much money you have, you have to compromise on few things as everything is not for sell.