Can I have it?

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

CAN I have it? A phrase heard by nearly all par­ents while out at the shops or from the back seat of the car.

Many young chil­dren will per­sist in ask­ing the ques­tion after the first time it is an­swered. Par­ents are of­ten left pulling out their hair as they try to cope with the pes­ter­ing of their child who won’t take no for an an­swer. WHY DO CHIL­DREN PESTER? Your child is sur­rounded by a world of new and won­der­ful items and ob­jects which they will want to ex­pe­ri­ence.

It is nat­u­ral for your child to want to try some­thing and to have an in­ter­est in the lat­est shiny thing. It is hard for them to un­der­stand the ob­ject might not be ap­pro­pri­ate for them or it costs money. It is hard for them to ac­cept no is the an­swer. IT’S EASY JUST TO GIVE IN, BUT TRY NOT TO A child who is con­sis­tently pes­ter­ing you can be ir­ri­tat­ing and in pub­lic ar­eas em­bar­rass­ing.

This makes it easy to give in and just say yes as it pro­vides in­stant re­lief and ends the pes­ter­ing and the tem­per tantrums that can ac­com­pany them.

But this is not a good idea as it will teach your child that pes­ter­ing works. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN THEY PESTER YOU?

The most im­por­tant thing is to stay calm and let your child know that you won’t an­swer them un­til they show good man­ners.

Try not to say yes or no un­til your child has stopped pes­ter­ing you and is in­stead being rea­son­able. If you say no, make sure you stay strong and do not give in if they pester you again.

It is also a good idea to dis­tract your child after you say no, take their mind off what they wanted and con­cen­trate on some­thing else eg: “can you help me find the milk that we buy?”.

If you’re strug­gling to stay calm when you child is ques­tion­ing you re­peat­edly, stop and count to 10. ARE THERE ANY PRE­VEN­TA­TIVE STEPS: Praise your child when they show good be­hav­iour and to of­fer healthy re­wards in­stead of junk food when out at the shops. Also lay down ground rules be­fore you go to the shops so your child knows what be­hav­iour is ex­pected and try to limit the amount of toy and junk food ad­ver­tis­ing they see. You could even chat to them about ad­ver­tis­ing.

Call your lo­cal WBHHS child health team on: Gayn­dah – 4161 3571, Mun­dub­bera – 4165 5222, Monto – 4166 9300, Biggen­den – 4127 6400, Eidsvold – 4165 7100.

Ref­er­ence: http://rais­ingchil­dren.net.au/

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