Kids and Money - Part II
Don't ruthlessly dismiss your child's demands, even if you cannot fulfill them. Here's how to deal with unreasonable, expensive demands.
If your child asks for something, don't blow away his request. Parents often dismiss their children's requests with a wave of a hand, without giving it any thought or without discussing it further. If your child wants something - say like a DVD player at home - you may think of the request as fairly reasonable. Still parents tend to dismiss the request and later on, when the time is right, they may fulfill the request. Instead of adopting this approach, consider telling your child that you too have been planning to buy one, and that you will get it on a particular occasion or after a few months or whatever your plan may be.
If your child has larger, unreasonable demands for example if he wants you to upgrade from a Maruti to a Ford Ikon because his friend has one, it is perfectly understandable that you may just want to dismiss his request without a second thought. However, if this is something dreams about - even if it is not possible for you to fulfill this dream, don't ruthlessly dismiss it.
Speak to your child. Ask him why he wants a certain item. He likes the Ford, but perhaps there's something you can do to help him like the Maruti for now? If it is missing an air-conditioner and you were thinking of getting one put, maybe now is the time. Get better seats, better accessories. Let your child place his favourite soft toy at the back of the car. Take him with you so he can feel part of the process. You may be considering doing certain things anyway, and you may make changes without consulting your child, in which case you are depriving him of a reason to get excited about the change.
Although your street address is not necessarily of much importance to children at school since most children live around the same area, your house, and more importantly, your child's room, speaks volumes to other children.
Your child may dislike his room and want it redone. You may not be able to do this all at once, but you can do it one step at a time - with the involvement of your child. Your child may really like a friend's room and long for her room to look the same. Ask her what she likes about the room. She may have been struck by something - perhaps a Chinese fan on the wall, and she may want something similar. Although you may prefer to put up a painting, consider going in for her suggestion. After all, it is her room, and her suggestions will make her feel as if you take her seriously - and will also make her like her room more. If you cannot afford to completely rehaul the furniture, start with something small, like getting a nice little lamp. Even a tiny change like getting fancier switches will make your child feel better.
Sometimes a fresh coat of paint, new curtains, or a simple new carpet may make all the difference to your child's room. You may not realize it, but if your child doesn't like her room, it is possible she is too embarrassed to invite her friends over, and you definitely don't want your child to feel like that.
If, on the other hand, you have enough money to get your child everything he wants, think twice before fulfilling all his demands as soon as he mentions them. You don't want your child to grow up believing that everything is his for the asking. You need to teach him the importance of having to work in order to get what he wants. Try and fulfill his demands as rewards for his achieving something, even though it may be something as minor as cleaning up his room. Also, teach your child to be modest with regard to his wealth, and discourage him from 'showing off' to his less fortunate friends.
Kids and Money - Part I
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