Every parent hopes to be their kid’s superhero, to be perfect for them at all costs. However, more than often a parent’s idea of perfection costs them a lot monetarily and raises kids who don’t value money enough, or rather judge everyone and everything based on money. Buying whatever your children want is never a good idea. Learning to say ‘no’ on the other hand is. Here are some tips on how to master the art of saying NO.
Don’t Be A ‘Yes’ Parent
Children have no impulse control, they want everything that they see without considering the cost, utility of the product etc. And you can’t blame them, they don’t know any better. As a parent though, to teach them what’s right is your job alone. “Saying yes to their every whim will teach them nothing. It’s true, they might throw a tantrum when you say no, but with time they will understand your good intentions behind it. I had to go through a lot of fussy moments with my girls, but I’m glad I stopped giving in all the time”, says Meenakshi Desai, a mother of two.
Needs vs Wants
When you have to deal with a fussy or dejected kid whom you said no to, try and explain to them the difference between needs and wants. Teach them how the clothes they wear or the food they eat every day is a need, but the 3rd remote control car or the flashy new doctor set they are asking for is a want. When you keep repeating this process of explanation with references from their own life, they’ll get it in time. And soon, they will understand the difference between the two.
“The next time your kid asks you for something they want, try and make it a challenge for them. My wife and I have started this thing, where we make our son’s want a goal that can be achieved by saving his pocket money. We explain to them how if he saves an XYZ amount from the pocket money we give him, in a few weeks or months he’ll be able to buy what he wants himself ” says Anirudh Anand. Alternatively, you can also make them work for it, by giving them household chores like helping to set the dinner table, making their own bed etc. This way, they’ll know exactly the amount of work or savings that have gone into their new toy and they’ll value it a lot more.
Another way to tackle your child’s futile wants is by teaching them a lesson in frugality. Now there’s a fine line between being stingy and frugal. Stingy is not spending a penny even when it’s the need of the hour, whereas being frugal is all about spending wisely. You spend on things that you really need, and sometimes want, but stay clear of temptations. Teaching your kids how to be frugal will give them a better idea on things that are worth spending money on and the things that they can surely do without.
While you take pointers from the above, also remember that saying no all the time isn’t good as well; you have to give in at times to keep your kids happy. Moderation is the key!