Living in a material world (Dealing with pestering!)

Thanks to Anne Denny for sharing her insights

I want, I want…… is this a familiar sound every time you enter a shop or your child sees an advert on TV ?

Do your children nag you for the latest gadget, electronic device or sweet sugary treat that you don’t really want them to have?   And worst of all do you buckle or cave in because you don’t want the outbreak of WWIII?

I have found the biggest struggle parents have is with guilt which is why they find it so hard to say no to children who nag for “things”.  This is tough and even tougher for mothers who have worked hard at their careers and come to motherhood later in life when guilt can be an even bigger challenge, to compensate for not being able to spend as much time with their kids as they would like or because they don’t want to upset them in any way.

But there is another way.  All children, even those who seem angry or wilful want nothing more than your attention.  Give them 10-15 minutes of your undivided attention a couple of times a day and watch how quickly they are motivated to do what you want to get that attention.  This takes effort and can seem strange for parents at first, you may think this isn’t enough time and at first it may not be or if your child is not used to positive attention they may be suspicious at first. But I assure you undivided focused attention is what they really want and long term the benefits are enormous in terms of your relationship.

Teach your children your family values, lead by example and give them a head start and good work ethic by teaching them to earn their treats and rewards.  These rewards shouldn’t always be material things – your time is more precious to them than anything.  You can build up rewards so that they earn a whole morning with you.  If this is the case it is extremely important for them to choose what you do in that time – however much you might hate it !!


Anne Denny teaches Positive Parenting classes in West London and privately: in person or on Skype for details

please go to or email her at

you can also like her on facebook for regular parenting tips




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