Whether you are facing back to school shopping or the holiday season, we have all heard a child with the “give mes.” I have found that the best way to deal with unwanted behavior is the same way we should deal with other negative behavior.
Not only will these behavior adjustments help save your wallet, but also your sanity.
- Catch them doing good.
I don’t know a person alive who doesn’t thrive under positive attention. Rather than focusing on the things your child does that drive you crazy, catch them doing good, and praise them. Give them the attention they seek then.
It is awfully hard to ignore the trials, but it proven that just that will cause those types of behaviors to lose their value and eventually cease.
- Expose them to reality – those with limited resources and living in poverty.
There are many ways you can expose your child in an age appropriate manner to those less fortunate. In addition to seeing the homeless on the street and beggars at the side of the road, you can talk about the differences they see at birthday parties and when visiting friends and family.
Talk to them about the impoverished holding signs at the side of the intersection. Drive through those “other” neighborhoods.
- Learn to Say No (and stick with it.)
Do not start the precedent of backing away from your “No.” When you say it, mean it. Stick to it, even if it is as tough for your as it is for your child.
Believe me, your child will quickly learn where your soft spots are and how to change your mind. This does not mean there is no room for compromise. But it does mean, your child must learn that “No means No!” And the earlier they learn it, the better.
- Make giving a tradition.
In addition to giving your time and volunteering to serve others, you can model giving all year long. Whether it’s writing a check, or buying gifts for an Angel Tree child, teach your child to give.
I have always encouraged my children to give of themselves. I even built it into our school curriculum when I was homeschooling. My daughter has volunteered at the local animal shelter since she was old enough to go with me.
My eldest son has voluntarily cut neighbors yards who couldn’t take care of themselves. And my youngest son visits shut ins with his great-grandmother, and then he started visiting and calling them on his own as well.