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Your 7-year-old now
Kids often want more than we can provide, even more than we would want to provide if we had all the money in the world. Short of a curt "no," what's a good way to refuse them when they ask for yet another Webkinz or vacation at Disney World?
- Discuss the why behind the want – and your why not. "I know you want a new computer gaming system because your friends have one. But they cost a lot of money and we already have a good game system."
- Offer alternatives. "You can't buy a Webkinz today because you just got one last week, but we can go to the library to get a new book."
- Empathize. "I know it's disappointing when I won't let you do something."
- Don't hesitate to give a flat no when your values are involved. "No, you can't have a pierced navel."
Your life now
Parents don't always agree. By now you probably know better than to tussle in front of your kids. It's best when you can present a united front and settle your differences out of your child's earshot. Otherwise, you risk undermining your partner.
One thing that's great to do in front of her, though, is to make up! Letting her see you forgiving and forgetting teaches compromise and maturity. It's also tremendously reassuring for kids to see their parents being affectionate and loving. Don't underestimate the power of a big kiss and hug in plain view.
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