When your child cannot take no for an answer and continuously pesters you, it can leave you feeling drained and very frustrated. It is also very embarrassing when you have no control over your child, and often to hide this, you may find that you give in to your child’s every whim.
Making your child stop their behavior of pestering can be a daunting process that can try your patience, and you may find yourself wanting to give up. Here are some steps you can take to put an end to your child’s pestering.
1. Let Your No Mean “No”
Learn to say no and stick to it so that your child learns that he cannot always get what he wants. Research shows that such a child is usually a happier child. It does your child no good to let them think that they can always get whatever they want, so learn to say no and mean it. Here are a few points to make your NO an effective one.
Make your answer definitive
No that is not clear, such as, “We will see,” will often leave your child feeling frustrated, and they will keep pestering you to turn your no that is not clear into a yes. Instead, say, “No, I will not buy that today.” Be firm and authoritative.
Give a short explanation
When you explain to your child why you are saying no, it makes them learn. When they understand why you will not permit them to do something, then in the future, they know what they are not allowed to do. Similarly, in your absence, they are less likely to do what they know they should not.
Resist the urge to give in
Do not give in to your child’s pleading or begging, and when he whines, ignore him. When you give in, your child will always use this as a weapon to turn your no into a yes.
2. Get to the Root Cause of Your Child’s Pestering
Children pester for various reasons, so it’s your job to figure out what is causing your child to act out, and then get to the bottom of it. Here are some reasons why your child pesters:
They are bored
Children have learning needs, and when these needs are not met, they get bored. When your child’s learning needs are not being met, and they’re facing no challenges, they will act out. So, they will annoy you or whomever they are with just to see the reaction they get.
They are feeling ignored
Children know that when they misbehave, they are bound to get attention from all around them and especially the adults.
They are stressed or depressed
Yes, children get stressed and depressed too. When they are stressed or depressed, they are not able to cope as well as an adult would, and this results in bad behavior such as pestering.
They think it is funny
Children pester because, to them, it is funny. They need to be taught how to keep themselves busy and entertained.
Raising a child can be hard work, especially when your kids don’t want to eat. Check out “What To Do If Your Kids Don’t Want To Eat Anything“ for info on what to do if your kids aren’t eating when you want them to.
3. Meet Their Emotional Needs
Your child’s pestering behavior could be speaking volumes to you. In such a case, your child is trying to tell you to pay attention to them. They are telling you that they need your love. So, as much as you are understandably busy with so much to do, make it a habit to spend some good time with your child by playing with them. Do not hold back from singing, dancing, or jumping with them. Talk with them, hug them, and cuddle them. When you hug your child, let them pull away first, no matter how long it takes.
Also, involve your child in your daily activities. For example, let them help you cook. Even a toddler can feel involved by getting to watch you and see what’s going on. An older child can hand you the items needed, mix ingredients, etc. You can also give them the option to play with their favorite toy as they watch you.
4. See the World Through Their Eyes
Make your child know that you understand how disappointed or how bad they feel when they don’t get what they want. So, do not tell them how you feel; all the things you must do or how many things you need to buy first. Instead, show them empathy. “You wish mummy could buy you this bike right now. How sad you must feel that you can’t get it now.” Say this as you mean it.
Sometimes good deeds need a reward. Check out “How to Determine Allowance for Kids“ for a fun guide to seeing how should you repay your children for their good actions around the house.
5. Say Yes More Often
When you have a habit of saying no to everything your child asks of you, it can be detrimental. It is essential for your child’s development when you allow them to explore and try out different things. So, although sometimes it may mean a little mess or some dirt, permit them to mix stuff up, engage in activities, play “messy” games.
It is perfectly okay for you to say no, even if it is simply because you don’t want to, but be sure not to make a habit of being too restrictive.
6. Handle the Matter Positively
Shouting or speaking harshly to your child when they are pestering you is counter-productive. Similarly, spanking and timeouts will get them to stop their behavior at that moment and give you some immediate relief but does nothing to resolve the underlying problem and does not offer a long-term solution. You need to get to the bottom of the problem and figure out why your child is acting out and then address the matter. If you don’t address the root cause of the matter, your child will repeat the same behavior over and over again.
This by no means that you should let them get away with everything. Of course, you must stop them immediately. What it means is that you must address the behavior right away, but positively as opposed to a negative way. Talk to your child. Let them know that you mean what you say and that their behavior is not good and will get them nowhere because you do not intend to give in. When you do this over and over again every time they’re pestering you, it will eventually bring about a change in their behavior. Just remember that as with even adults, change does not happen overnight. Just be patient and firm.
7. Acknowledge and Encourage Them
Give useful feedback to your child when they have behaved well. Show that you noticed when they have cooperated well or been helpful or kept themselves busy in a manner that is not annoying to others. Remember to be clear about why the way they behaved is good. “Thanks for putting your toys away. The house looks tidy. Now you can go ride your bike.” When you encourage your child, it goes a long way in building their character and building confidence in them.
There’s a new trend out there that has the mom world debating on it…that is child leashes. Check out “Should You Use a “Baby Leash” For Your Toddler?“ to see the pros and cons of using a “baby leash”.
So, there you have it. Follow these steps to help your child turn around from this annoying behavior. Remember, be gentle and patient but firm. Do not hesitate or give up addressing the behavior. You must follow through because when your child’s pestering behavior stops, they grow up to be a confident and emotionally-balanced adult.
Thank you for reading with us today! Let us know in the comments below your techniques for handling your possibly pestering children at home. How do you usually handle it? Be sure to check us out on Facebook as well to see stories from other mothers around the world going through the same issues you’re going through as a mother.
Don’t miss out on more helpful articles to make you a better well-rounded mother like “5 Fun Things to do When You Are a Stay at Home Mom“ or even “What is a Minimalist Mom & Should You Become One?“.