Control Pester Power at Christmas
Between advertising and peer pressure, even the toughest parent is likely to face some form of pester power at this time of the year. The Supernanny website has these tips for limiting pester power in the lead up to Christmas...
“But Mummy I waaannnt it!”
Between advertising and peer pressure, even the toughest parent is likely to face some form of pester power at this time of the year.
Your child’s constant nagging will get you down – and every parent dreads the look of disappointment on Christmas day. But ultimately, falling into debt or struggling to fund life’s necessities is not worth giving in to your child’s expensive demands.
The Supernanny website has these tips for limiting pester power in the lead up to Christmas...
- Explain why your child can’t have everything, and help them understand your decision. Sometimes “No, because I said so” is not sufficient. Acknowledge their disappointment, but explain that even Santa and Mum and Dad can’t afford all the presents on their list.
- Make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Agree on limits and tactics so that you don’t work against each other.
- Stay firm. If you always cave in to your child’s demands then they will continue to pester you.
- Combine and compromise. If they want an expensive gadget or toy, can you give them a combined Christmas and birthday gift? Maybe Grandpa can pitch in to make it a joint gift? Older children can also contribute to part of the cost, particularly if they want the latest and most expensive model.
- Negotiate. Perhaps your child can receive the expensive gift they are pestering you for – but only during the January sales.
- Offer a non-material alternative - quality time is the greatest gift a parent can give. Take your children out to the zoo, play football in the park or make a craft project at home – those are the times your child will remember, not the gifts at Christmas.
- Encourage entrepreneurship. Explain that you can’t afford to give them the expensive gift they are hoping for, but discuss how they can earn money to buy it themselves. If they want something badly enough, they will find ways to save money.
- There’s no need to keep up with the Jones’! Everyone has different budgets and spending priorities. If your neighbour spends £200 on each child, it doesn’t mean that you should too.
- Encourage older children to develop a sceptical eye with regard to advertising. Play ‘spot the gimmick’ and explain how advertising works.
Christmas is a stressful time for parents, but try not to feel guilty. Children need to understand that Mum and Dad don’t have a bottomless purse! If your child always gets what they want then they will never learn how to budget or save money for themselves.