How Will You Cope With Your Child’s Endless Desires?

Most of the time, we see children crying, stomping in front of the toy store or in the aisle where the chocolates are in the market, and parents who worry that the people around are disturbed by this situation and say “OK, shut up, I’ll buy whatever you want”. Even though he has a very similar toy at home, he begs you to get him removed, cries, kicks and even starts to harm himself or his surroundings.

  • Children always want something.

From infancy to adolescence, we encounter more and more children of all ages who constantly want something and keep it up. While almost all of their demands are met, they want more. The desire never comes to an end, and after a while, the parents begin to say, “This child is very insatiable.”

  • Are the children insatiable?

Yes, children are insatiable. However, the most important factor in its constant demand and insatiability is that no limits are set, and even if it is, it cannot be applied effectively.

  • What is boundary setting?

Boundaries show what the child can and cannot do, what is appropriate behavior, and what is expected of him. It enables the child to find direction, feel safe, and gain internal discipline. Just like rules, the safest place to learn boundaries is in the family. No child likes to be limited, he always protests, whines, always pushes the limits. On the one hand, they act this way, on the other hand, they want to know what the rules, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are. When they know this, they feel comfortable and safe. Setting boundaries is often thought of as restricting the child’s freedom, depriving him of his wishes. However, by setting limits, the child is shown that his current behavior is acceptable or unacceptable.

  • What should we pay attention to when setting boundaries?

Boundaries should be appropriate for the child’s age.

Having too many limits and rules is useless. Excessive frustration confuses the child and increases defiant behavior. In addition, expecting too much from the child undermines self-confidence and causes stress in the child. Therefore, few but purposeful rules should be set.

Make sure the limits are reasonable. The concept of “reasonable” varies according to the age and personality of the child. Set limits on undesirable behaviors that threaten your health and safety.

Be open and positive. Children only understand what is expected of them when we make it clear to them.

Be consistent and determined. The rules and limits set should not change from day to day, from situation to situation, and should be valid under all circumstances. Only in this way can children understand and implement exactly what is expected of them. The inconsistent approach confuses the child. After the parents decide among themselves which situations and subjects they will limit, they should inform the child about this. In situations where parents conflict with each other, the child experiences feelings of confusion and insecurity. They often push the limits to test their parents’ determination and how long they can stick to their word. The situation of pushing the boundaries is more common when there is inconsistency between parents. Only when they are treated the same way each time can they realize that it is an unchangeable situation.

Explain why you set the limit. Children adapt more easily when they understand why they can’t or should. Sometimes, over-explaining raises more questions, especially with younger children. Make sure your description is age appropriate. Explanations such as “I don’t like this, I don’t want you to do this, it will hurt you, this is necessary for you” or sometimes just a firm “no” answer is enough, especially to preschoolers.

  • Is it so hard to say “no”?

It is very difficult for many parents to say “no” to their child’s endless demands. While some parents try to fulfill every request without any resistance, others try to resist, but because they can’t stand their children’s crying and shouting, they give up, especially if such a situation is experienced in a social environment. After all, children get what they want one way or another.

Why can’t we say “no”? (Why can’t we set limits?)

The most important reason that makes it difficult to say “no” is the guilt of the parents. This feeling, especially experienced by working parents, makes it difficult for them to set limits for their children. It is difficult for parents to say “no” because of the limited amount of time they spend with their children and the thought of spending this time as “happy”, “problematic”, “without upsetting or battering the child”.

The tiredness of the day, the feeling of boredom brought on by the shouting every day also makes it difficult to say “no”. After saying “no”, it is necessary to struggle to act decisively. However, due to the tiredness of the day, either the child’s demands are fulfilled or the child is scolded.

One of the factors that makes it difficult to set boundaries is the thoughts of parents to behave differently from their own parents, to be different parents. Parents, who grew up with constant “do’s and don’ts” under much pressure in their own childhood, prefer not to put limits on their child’s desire not to experience this trouble, but to let the child go completely.

  • Why is it necessary to set boundaries?

Seeing that he can get everything he wants, the child thinks that “I can do whatever I want, I don’t have to listen to anyone, I can ask for anything and if necessary, I can cry, shout and call”.

Boundaries provide the formation of the child’s personality and responsibility. The child, who does everything he wants and never hears a “no” answer, will experience a feeling of defeat and rejection in the future when he receives a determined “no” answer from someone else.

The boundaries created by the parents make the child feel safe rather than hurting and upsetting. Setting boundaries means safety and guiding the child.

Boundaries show the child what to do and what not to do in certain situations.

Not setting boundaries makes the child feel that they are not cared for. Children experience a sense of belonging when limitations are imposed.

The absence of limitations makes it difficult for the child to understand and adapt to the limits and prohibitions that he or she will encounter in the future.

Meeting all the wishes of the child causes the parents to feel boredom, tiredness and helplessness over time.

  • You can learn to set boundaries.

Set the rules and boundaries, what you expect from him.

Explain clearly what behavior you expect from your child. For example, every time you go to the market, he asks you to buy something, if he gives it to you, “We are going to the market. While I’m shopping, you can buy anything you want or think you need. But just one thing, not more than one. When you want to buy more and cry about it, we will stop shopping and go back home.”

Make eye contact with him when he pushes the limits. Your gaze will do more than shouting.

  • From what age should the limit be set?

It is important to set boundaries from an early age. Three years of age, when the child begins to become an independent individual, is a suitable age to start setting limits. You can set limits by considering the developmental period and personality traits and your family structure.

  • When you challenge borders…

When he starts yelling and crying because his request is not done, leave him alone for a while to calm down. Talk about his behavior when he is able to calm down on his own and what behavior you expect from him.

When it has a tendency to harm itself or the environment, hold it tightly and prevent it from harming. Trying to calm down, slurring, begging are not helpful methods. He doesn’t even hear what you’re saying at the time.

Behave the same way every time and make him feel that you are determined.

  • Finally…

Regardless of the age, knowing the characteristics of the age period of the child, expecting behaviors appropriate for his/her age, sharing these clearly and clearly with the child, explaining the reasons for the limits, showing that you are determined, being more sensitive about the limitations (illness, death, etc.) Re-establishing the borders as a result of changes in the borders is important issues to be considered while setting borders.

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