How to Deal with Pester Power
Updated: Jul 31
Do you often feel held at ransom by your baby when they want something? Well, that is how serious pester power is. Young ones know how affectionate their parents are and tend to take advantage by making many demands. It could be a toy they saw another kid with while attending childcare in North Ryde or a snack they saw on television.
Giving in to this may seem like a sweet thing to do as you get to win your child’s heart. But the same action can also do more damage than good.
We gathered tips from seasoned parents, research and childcare professionals to share with you regarding this. In the article, we show how to best deal with pester power.
Be Wary Of Advertisements
Advertising companies know your child's pestering power. If keen, you have probably noticed many adverts appear during kids' shows. If they watch more of such advertisements, expect them to be more demanding.
Since they don't understand the science behind buying, they will want you to get them the latest toy shown during their favourite show. But do not always give in to their demands. Instead, figure out ways to make them understand that they cannot always get what they see.
Since it is hard to monitor every advert they watch, equipping them with such knowledge is the best way to manage their reactions to the ads. Keep speaking to them about why they can and can’t have some things.
Learn To Say A Firm No
Your child watches your reaction when you communicate. They can tell if your no is assertive or you have left room for negotiation. They will go ahead and insist on getting their way if you cannot stand your ground.
While this may not always be serious, being assertive saves you from moments such as when your child insists you get them exactly what they demand.
Saying no appropriately also teaches your child to stop pestering since your word is final.
While attending childcare in North Ryde or interacting with their peers in other settings, your child will always take note of other kids with seemingly better things. This will range from toys to snacks.
Your child will most probably want what their friends or playmates have, even when they do not need them. However, even if you buy them all the snacks, all the toys or the beautiful dresses they want, you will never exhaust their wishlist as it will keep growing and changing.
The best way to go about this is to make your little one understand that people have different needs. Teach them how to make informed decisions and judgements. And as earlier mentioned, don’t forget to constantly remind them that they cannot always get what they want.
Set rules and limits for your child. Have household and family rules. If they attend childcare, set rules like when they can or cannot skip it. If they break the rules, let them know that there will be consequences.
Such actions may seem trivial but never ignore taking them. If one day your child refuses to wake up and get ready for school or childcare, make the ramifications of such a decision clear to them.
Whether it is something they want you to purchase or things they want to do, arm yourself with rules. This way, your child knows the lines they can't cross.
Sometimes, your child only pesters because they want your attention. That constant teary plea for a snack is not necessarily out of hunger. It could be just something they felt like doing.
When left unchecked, these pleas could multiply into a nagging habit. A good way to curb this is by distracting your child with more useful tasks. You can either delegate light chores to keep them busy or engage them in a house game.
If your child constantly demands something you can afford or that they deserve, you can turn the gift into a reward for their patience.
For example, if your child listens and stops bothering you about a snack they saw on TV, you can surprise them with it or something similar later. This will not only show them you care but also teach them the value of patience.
However, be careful not to tie every act of patience with a gift because your child may use this to manipulate you into giving in to their wishes.
Do you remember how old you were when you first understood the value of money? Just like you, your child may not quite understand why they cannot have the watch that costs twice your income.
They may also fail to understand why you cannot buy them a new bicycle immediately the current one breaks down. So, they will keep asking and pestering you to act on their wishes right away.
You can solve this and prevent such future occurrences by telling them how things are priced and why you can only buy when it is within your budget. This is an important lesson that they will take with them into their adulthoods.
In summary, understand that dealing with pester power is a continuous process that will also require you to be closer to your child so as to learn their needs and demands and what drives them. As much as you want to avoid breaking their little hearts, saying no or acting against their wish will help both of you in future. If they attend childcare in Macquarie Park or nearby suburbs, it would also be great if you knew how the caregivers go about this. You could learn a lesson or two from them.