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How to raise an appreciative child

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2021

Have you ever had the horrible realisation that you might be in danger of raising a 'spoilt child'.

I'm not crazy about the word 'spoilt' what I mean is over-indulged by us- but here's a little check list:

  • Are they overly demanding and scream or hit you when they don't get what they want immediately?
  • Do they have an expectation that they say 'jump' and we say 'how high?'
  • Do they want you to drop everything the minute they ask you to do something?
  • Do they expect to be bought things if you go into a shop?
  • Do they expect you to order things they want from the internet?
  • Do they refuse to help with routine things like tidying up or clearing the table and you just give in and do it yourself?
  • Do you find yourself buying them things to make them happy?
  • Do they interrupt a conversation and expect you to give them attention straight away? 

If you can check off a few of these things, I'm not here to point fingers. I've been through them all myself and still have to remind my teenagers that I'm not their slave.

However, it is really worthwhile thinking about the future as you parent in the now.

 So here's a list of 10 things you can do to help address this:

  1. Know that children are impatient and impulsive. It is normal that they want something 'right now' so if we understand that it's normal, then we can be more compassionate with our response.
  2. If they shout 'give it to me NOW!' - calmly respond with 'Oh Wow! I can see how much you want juice right now. You are hoping that I'll drop everything and get it for you.'  You can then pause and ask the question 'Is that what I do? Do I respond well when you scream for things?'
  3. Teach your child to delay gratification (if you want to learn more about this, check out the work of psychologist Carol Dwek). So say things like 'when you've tidied the toys, then you can have your tv programme', 'when you've hung up your coat and washed your hands, then I'd be happy to play your game with you'.  
  4. Before you go into a shop, be really clear whether you are or are not prepared to buy anything and stick with it, even if it means facing a massive tantrum. 
  5. Make it clear to your child before you step foot inside the shop 'We are going in to get some bread. I know you will want sweets/toys/ (whatever you anticipate they will want). I know it's hard for you when you want things.  Then ask the question - what are we going to buy?'
  6. Kids will naturally not want to do the 'boring' things like tidying up. It's far more fun the make the mess. However, if we consistently give in and do it for them, they realise fast that refusing to do things is a good strategy. So if necessary, leave the mess, wait and the minute they come to you and ask for something after that, say 'yes, of course... what do you need to do first?'
  7. It is really lovely to get kids excited reaction when we buy them things. What we need to teach them is that the thrill from something material is short-lived.  Go round the house showing them things that they really wanted so badly that they now don't use or play with.  It's human nature to want the thrill of new things but we can teach them to realise how fast it wears off and therefore cut back on what we buy them.
  8. Teach them from a young age the value of earning things. They can earn privileges by doing small things you need help with, rather than just expecting to get what they want. So you can have systems like helping to set the table and clearing their place at the end of the meal means that they get to play a game afterwards and if they refuse, then no game.
  9. With things like interrupting your conversation - you can turn to them and say 'Oh gosh, I know you are really impatient to tell me something.  I am talking now but I will listen to you when I've finished.'
  10. Praise them for using 'self-control' when they do show patience or are able to delay gratification. 

So I hope this is helpful.  Remember to follow me on instagram and tag your friends to follow me too.  I post lots of extra tips there too.

If you want to book a time for a free discovery call to discuss how I could work with you - click here

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