Sharing my learnings of child psychology. The way parents handle their child's demands goes a long way in shaping their life and future
Children are playful full of creativity and free from any worries. For them, their parents are their world and the provider and, no doubt, parents also try to fulfill all their wishes to the best of their abilities. Everything they see intrigues and interests them, something at a shop, in their friend's home, or on TV or media. Sometimes, they just forget about one thing when their attention is caught by the other but at other times something gets stuck in their minds and they want it no matter what. Parents love to see a smile on their child's face but sometimes even when they want to they can't afford that happiness. Hence, sometimes they shun the demand away, tell their child straightforwardly that it is not possible for them to have that and in some other cases when the child becomes stubborn and throws a tantrum, parents sometimes have to be strict too. Here the thing to keep in mind is children are children, they don't know what is right or wrong for them. So, giving them consent over every desire they have is also not the right approach towards their well-being. So before fulfilling their wishes we need to evaluate the validity of their demand. Fulfilling every desire of a child right away can spoil them while denying straightaway can have other consequences on their minds. Keeping all this in mind what can be the best strategies parents can implement to play their role of wish fulfiller to their child in the most productive way so as to guide their child's life on the right track?
Some imperative facts about childhood
Children are curious and quick learners as their mind is in making and in the receptive phase with little resistance to any piece of information, good or bad, it receives
As per some psychological studies children, most of the subconscious programming occurs up to the age of seven. Why subconscious programming is an interesting and important fact, because a person’s personality, willpower, mental and emotional health is majorly determined by how their subconscious mind is fed. That is why most of the adult psychological issues root back in childhood incidents or trauma.
So while dealing with children, talking to them, or even talking to someone else in front of them, be watchful of your words and the impact they can have on your child as they may impede their growth as a person. Try to feed positive and strengthening ideas in their minds that boost their confidence and self-worth.
What usual sudden responses parents should avoid if they find their child demands
Many times children start demanding things that are out of the reach of their parents and in some cases not even good for them to have. In such cases, the Parent's obvious response would be a denial of their demand. As mentioned earlier children’s minds are more sensitive to information than adults, so shunning your child right away declaring that they can't have it or telling them straight away you can’t afford it create limiting beliefs like I am poor, I cannot have all happiness, I am less worthy than other children, my parents don’t love me, My other friend is luckier than me and so on. With that mindset, they may face several issues around finances and their ability to manifest happiness in life. Remember that limiting beliefs impact the growth of a person in life, so be careful what message are you feeding in your child's mind as well as yours. The things that should be avoided while handling the demands of children include:
- Impulsive Negative statements likely to instill limiting beliefs
- Cold response
Recognizing Valid and invalid demands of children
The very crucial factor in fulfilling a child's demand is right, wrong, or neutral. Neutral category for the ones whose righteousness depends on its usage. Here the basic criterion is if the thing they are demanding is productive in some way for their mental, physical or emotional growth the demands are valid but if it is likely to have the opposite impact it is invalid.
Valid demands: Toys, artistic tools, sports equipment, bike, trip or picnic
Invalid demands: Expensive and luxury items or toys just for showoff, things which are harmful such as some weapon or tool that can injure them or others
Neutral: e.g. video games (used in limit good for the brain but excess use leads to addiction), cell-phone (can be given at certain age parental control and checking overindulgence needed)
What can be a better way to deal with the demands
Instead of impulsive reactions or no-means-no type of arguments, there can be some positive solution-oriented communication with children such as:
- If the demand is productive appreciate your child, for having good choices or dreams and deny them politely if it is too out of budget. In case you are confident to get it within a certain period you can give them that option. All this shows you actually care and respect their valid dreams.
- You can encourage your child to make a wish list that they can keep in your drawer and wait for you to fulfill them in due time. Out of that list when you fulfill any random wish it fills them with positivity.
- Suggest them to do some savings for their wish-fulfillment themselves it in their piggy bank that may not make a big difference in the budget but they learn the art of saving and striving to work towards their dreams.
- If the article of their interest is not good for them, express your denial along with the valid reason the way they can understand and ask them for a better offer or choose something else instead. It is always great to give options related to their hobbies.
- If you are a believer you can teach your child the importance of praying. Or teach them to dream big, have faith in themselves, wait for the things to manifest. This promotes optimism in them.
- For neutral demands, parents must clearly tell their child before fulfilling the demand to use the privilege with responsibility and in limit or you can take it back as well. Things need to be clear already to avoid any later clashes.
Overall, every parent tries to work towards their child's greatest good. Being a little careful and a positive seriousness towards their responsibility and responses to their children can not only help strengthen the parent-child relationship but also can pave a way to a happier and more securer future for the children.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Jas Kailey