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Understand the Personality of Your Child to Handle His "I Want" Attitude

Updated on October 4, 2016

Many parents confess that they hate shopping with their children. In fact, they dread it. The issue is with the "I want" attitude of children. When their children want some items and if they refuse to get them those items, the kids display agitated behaviors that cause embarrassment to them. At the same time, if parents bully the children for their behaviors, it may take a toll on their self-esteem and confidence. Sensitive children are more vulnerable and bullying may impact them more terribly because it may intensify their sensitivity.

Of course, you may say that even we, adults, are lured by a number of things and want to have them. Hence, what is wrong when children have this attitude? But children get tempted by all the things that attract them. They may not able to distinguish between necessary items and those items that are needed. They may not also know the value of money and how to prioritize. These are the reasons why they are not able to curb their desires. So, they start pestering you when you take them with you for shopping. Do you want suggestions to handle such children? Here they are.

1. Show them other joys

Children associate their joy with the items they want. According to biologists, the culprit is a chemical called dopamine that triggers such feelings and desires in the human brain. When interviewed, Gregory Burns, a neuro-scientist working for Emory University pointed out that dopamine, the chemical that is directly linked to feelings such as pleasure and satisfaction is released when humans have new, challenging and exciting experiences. Many adults as well as children experience these feelings while doing shopping.

Experts have now found out that a few physical activities can also enable secretion of dopamine. Any activity that thrills people can make them experience these feelings. So, for tackling the "I want" attitude of your kids, involve them in other activities such as going on hiking or trying their hands with a new structure-building project that may thrill or bring joy to them.
You can also motivate them to try creative activities such as writing a story, drawing, painting, singing, etc. because these activities can also provide them with great satisfaction. As a parent, you must understand that even in children, there are different types of personalities as well as emotions. So, the coping mechanism you adopt for handling the "I want" attitude of your child should suit his personality.

2. Teach them how giving and sharing can give them more joy than taking

Helping them realize how giving and sharing can give them more joy is another way to handle such children. They will learn to empathize with others. Once they experience the pleasure of giving, they will try to share everything with others. When they share their talents also with others, their self-esteem will get a boost.

3. Encouraging Gratitude

Also, try instilling gratitude in them as well along with the habit of sharing with others. They should be thankful for their life and their present status. They should be thankful to God because they are able to get their food and other basic necessities like clothes and shelter.

Another strategy can be you can take their help when you do the laundry or when you cook. When they put in their efforts and see the results for themselves, they will all the more be mentally prepared to show their gratitude.

You can also talk to them to find out what they think are great things or which are the things that fascinate or excite them. Especially, children above the age of 10 can be asked to keep a journal specifically for gratitude. Researchers have found that such a journal may bring about a positive change in their attitude towards gratefulness. Of course, some children may not be interested in keeping such a journal and for them, the best way is to ask them to spend a few gratitude minutes when they sit for having their food.

4. Mindfulness practice goes well with generosity, empathy and gratitude. This practice involves being aware of the actions we take, our feelings and the happenings around us. If children are taught to slow down, they can learn this technique. For example, when they open the items that have been gifted to them, they should be asked to open them slowly and also open them one by one. Generally, children display impatience while opening such gifts and so, may try to open everything at the same time. Therefore, they may not be able to focus properly on each and every gift. But if you tell them to open the gifts one by one, they will keenly look into every gift and this will enhance their joy manifold.

5. Teach them to make purchases themselves

Making children do errands or sending them to shops for buying small items can teach them the differences between expensive items and their cheaper equivalents. Not only that, kids will learn the value of money. This, in due course of time, may result in they refraining from wanting unnecessary items because they will start putting some thought into the task of making purchases.

Handling the “I WANT” attitude of children is a lengthy process. You must have patience and work consistently to change that mindset.


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