Teaching a child the difference between needing and wanting

When a child gets their mind on a certain toy, they are certainly going to let their parents know. It can amaze parents how the child will remain absolutely focused on the acquisition of one particular toy, or game, for days on end. This can be something that is hard for parents to deal with as not only do they have to put up with the nagging, but it can also make you feel as if your child is ungrateful for all that you do provide, and is inherently self-serving.

Parents do not want to see their children grow up to be shallow and selfish, so seeing this kind of behaviour can be particularly hard, and make you feel as if you want to punish the child. Fortunately, there are some great tips you can take on board to make sure that your child is grateful for all that they have been given and grow up to be an appreciative and selfless adult.

Everyone is driven by the desire to get something, and this desire is never more unregulated than when we are children. Your child will be driven by the desire to have something and this will be an overarching driving force for their behaviour.

You should teach your children to wait for things that they want. If you do not give them the instant gratification of purchasing whatever they desire, then they are not going to expect it in the future.

You can also use this method to highlight the difference between desire for something and the need for it. By making a child wait you will make them understand that they do not need to have the product immediately, they can wait for it, and during this waiting period they will begin to understand it is not something essential to their happiness or survival.

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