Argh! How frustrating is it to be in the same vicinity as a moaning (careful!) child who can’t get their own way?
I was in a charity shop this morning (what me? how common) when a family of 3 came in to browse. The little girl was about 6/7. She had noticed a pair of summer wedges and was determined she was going to have them. She tried them on, took them off, then promptly handed them to her mum and said; “they fit me, I want them”. Her mum took the shoes off her daughter and told her she was ‘just worried they would cause a blister’.
For some reason, the ‘little girl’ (said through gritted teeth) began to moan, and whine, and scream, and pretend cry – we all know that one girls don’t we? – because she wanted the shoes and her mother wasn’t giving her any indication as to whether she was going to buy them for her or not. The mother certainly kept them in her hand with other potential purchases. All the time I’m thinking ‘if you are going to buy the girl the shoes why don’t you actually get her to put them on so you can see whether they fit her or not and whether there is the possibility of them causing blisters – not take a 6 year olds word for it’. In response to the whining child, the mother and ‘father’ walked around the shop expressing every now and again “oh …… what are you doing?” or “you’re making a silly noise darling” taking no real effort to deal with her.
Why, because they did buy the little brat the shoes, did the mother not say she was going to get the shoes? This would’ve stopped all the pathetic attempts to cry etc. It’s not difficult, it’s call PARENTING. If she hadn’t planned to buy them she just needed to be firm and tell her “no, they don’t fit properly and they will hurt you. If you continue to moan I will put these things back too and you will leave the shop with nothing”.
You are their parent, you are not their friend. Your job as a parent is to teach them life skills, and one of them is that you can’t have everything you want. Whether it’s because they don’t fit etc., or you just can’t afford it/them etc.
I don’t believe in telling kids “No” without explaining to them why. If you give them the reason why they can work that through in their head. Just “no” leaves it too open for them. And for goodness sake, don’t give into constant pressure like “please, please, please……”. You are not teaching them anything, except, they can get their own way if they persist.
As my daughter used to say when her friends would tell her to ‘ask your mum again’ she would say; “When my mum says ‘No’ she means ‘No’. If she says ‘Maybe or I’ll think about it’, she’ll get back to me in her own time with her answer, and if she says ‘Yes’ it means just that”. They couldn’t understand this. They would say “oh, we just keep going on and on at them/her and they/she gives in eventually”. Yeah! Of course, that’s good parenting – NOT!