While out shopping I often notice that many mothers give into their children’s crying by buying that toy or getting that sugary cereal.
I know mothers would rather not do this but it is easier and faster to just give them what they want than letting their children cry and cry, often turning into a tantrum.
It is sometimes a matter of avoiding embarrassment when they give into their crying, so that people will not look at them and pass judgment.
I remember one of my friends who hated leaving her son in daycare every day because her son’s crying became a daily nuisance. She told me that it broke her heart to see him crying and crying when she left him.
It eventually led to a lot of frustration where both parties did not want to go through the incident day after day. Frustrated my friend eventually did research on it and found that her son had learned that by crying his mother would take him home and even give him a treat, as if he were ill or helpless.
After reading up on the subject and talking to other mothers, my friend was armed with the knowledge to tackle her son’s crying. The next time she had to take her son to daycare, she started before they even got there.
She reminded her son how much fun it was at daycare and about all his friends that were there. She also reminded her son that she was always there at the end of the day to pick him up.
When they got to the daycare her son still cried so she took him aside and told him that she knew why he was crying. She told him that she understood that it made him sad to see her go but she pointed out that he had friends that were waiting for him and she reassured him that she would be there to pick him up.
My friend encouraged her son to talk about why he cried and praised him for telling her instead of crying. The next day the crying was shorter and the day after that it stopped completely.
An effective way to fix the challenge of having a child that cries to get his or her way is to model how you want them to act.
Ask about the problem and encourage them to ask for the things they want.
Always have a good reason for turning down any request that is not appropriate and make sure you let them know that you heard what they asked for. Whenever you can, try to substitute it for a better option.
Don’t just say “You can’t have that,” instead say, “I know you want that cereal but it has too much sugar in it, let’s get this other cereal in its place.”
If the crying continues then place the child in a quiet, comfortable area and let them cry it out, letting them know that you understand that they are upset that they could not get what they wanted.
Continue to let your child know the reasons why you will not indulge their every whim. Eventually, all the time and effort you placed into this will bring forth a child that is reasonable and able to ask for things without becoming upset for not getting what they want.
Think of it as raising a better adult who knows the value of a good thing and who treats people with respect and understanding. Over indulgence of a child will only lead to problems in the long term. Be patient and understanding and continually speak to your child and you will see results.