The following is another guest post from My Canuck Buck. Thank you so much for pitching in while life is nuts! Please check out her site when you have a chance!
Recently, I babysat my 2 nieces (aged 9 and 10) for the weekend. We took them up to see their cousins (1 boy and 1 girl – ages 12 and 11) for a short visit. My nephew had a ball hockey game and afterwards we took the kids out for a snack and to the mall.
I concluded after the “snack” part that I do not have any concept of how much fast food costs these days. For 4 kids, it cost me over 20 bucks! And they would have eaten more if I’d let them! Part of the issue was that I didn’t think ahead and tell them exactly what they could and couldn’t have. So, in order to not hold up the line, I just let them order what they wanted, and “Frosty shakes” for a drink cost a lot more than juice or pop. If I did this again, I’d tell them ahead of time they can only have something from the value menu (maybe even limit it to 1 or 2 choices there so they can pick faster!) and only a small drink (no shake!). I know it would have been cheaper to bring something, but I wanted this trip to Wendy’s to be part of the outing.
And then we hit the mall. I learned that my little nieces aren’t so little any more and are very interested in clothes, jewelry, and make up. Normally they aren’t bad about asking for things, but I think having 3 of them together encouraged each other. So – every store they’d go in, they’d ask for something. I managed to say “No” to everything, although after an hour, they started to wear me down. Some things were as cheap as 2 dollars, but it was nothing they *really* needed or would value. I have freely admitted I’m a cheap aunt in the past, but I’m willing to spend money on important things – just not junk! I’m happy to spend money on outings, or conducting science experiments (Diet coke + Mentos = awesome explosion!), but I want it to be on something important or memorable.
In their defense, the kids did not whine or beg – they simply asked. And since childhood is a while back for me, I have no idea if I was this bad or not!
All: How do you deal with it when children ask for things? What’s the best technique you’ve found for getting them to stop asking?
Crystal’s Comments: I usually tell them to buy it with their own money and laugh at the looks on their faces while they try to explain to me that they don’t have money…yeah, I would be a crappy mom…