“But I want it!”
How many times have you heard this refrain? Children seem to want everything and then some!
It’s tempting to give in to our children’s desires because we love them, and let’s be honest, sometimes we just want them to be quiet. But is it possible to give them too much?
I believe it is, so I engage in what Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced “decision”) author of the Tightwad Gazette calls “Creative Deprivation.”
Amy’s theory is that by giving our children everything they want, they become immune to the thrill and require more and bigger things to feel the same appreciation. To avoid this “immunity” she carefully chooses what activities her family participates in.
For example, she doesn’t take her children out for ice cream every week, but saves that treat for a special occasion. Her children are therefore much more grateful and whine less because they know the answer is going to be “no”.
One of my concerns in training my own children is developing their character rather than feeding their self-esteem at all costs. What kind of employee or spouse will they be if I allow them to have everything they want? Adults who believe that everything should be given to them tend not to be successful in life, or pleasant to be around.
The next time your child whines for something think about this: Is my child’s character more important or their immediate happiness? It may be tough to say “no” now, but it’s so worth it. Their future is at stake.
For more help with whining, check out Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child’s Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days by Dr. Kevin Leman.
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