Are your children greedy? Do they dislike sharing their things? Do they hanker after toys and keep nagging you until you give in to their wants? Here's how to cope.
5-year-old Dhruv was extremely possessive of his toys. He wouldn't share them with anyone - not even with friends who would come over to play.
7-year-old Amit would yearn for anything that caught his eye at a store, and would keep pestering his mother until she bought it for him. His mother worried that his desire for obtaining objects was so strong, that it bordered on greed.
When Amrita decided to quit her job to stay at home and spend more time with the children, she told her kids that they will not be able to buy as many toys as they could before, because mommy will no longer be working and so they will have less money to spend. Instead of being happy that they would get to spend more time with their mother, the kids were unhappy at the prospect of losing out on so many goodies and told their mother that she had to go back to work because they wanted more toys!
When a parent first encounters instances like these, they tend to get a little worried. No one wants to raise their children to be greedy. Thankfully, such behaviour is completely normal. Attractive window displays and packaging, slick advertising and fascinating toys are all marketed with the very purpose of attracting a child and making him beg his parents to buy him a particular object. Children are also naturally fascinated by anything new and fancy. So if you child constantly wants new toys, don't be disheartened. Instead of trying to curtail his desires, try to bring about a balance in his nature. Here's how you can go about it.
Don't reward good behaviour with buying your child something he wants. While materialistic rewarding is fine once in a while when your child wants something special like a bicycle, don't do it all the time. Use other incentives. Allow him to watch television for a little longer, read him an additional bedtime story, play with him, let him spend the day with a friend.
Limit the number of toys he is allowed to possess or buy in a certain year. If you allow him to buy one toy a month or 3-4 toys a year, stick by your limit and let him select whatever he wants when the time comes. Discouraging hoarding at all times. Once he has enough toys, the next time you take him to buy something new, tell him that he has to dispose off an old toy. This will reduce his attachment to material things.
If your child doesn't like to share his toys with his friends, the next time your child's friends come over to play, encourage them to also bring some toys along. Your child will not mind sharing his toys as much if he gets a chance to play with his friend's toys.
Make it a rule that if you are out on errands your child is not allowed to nag you to buy something for him. If you buy something for your child when he nags you, you are only encouraging such behaviour. Instead, make a special trip with your child to a toy shop to buy him something when the time is right.