It’s normal for five and six-year-olds to want things they see. They’re starting to learn the difference between needs and wants, but still don’t fully understand it.
In fact, many children may pester more at this age. You can use these ‘wants’ to teach them the skills of saving, negotiation and that, no, sometimes they can’t have what they want.
Here are some tips:
- Plan – if you’re going to a toy shop, plan ahead. Explain beforehand what you’re buying and why.
- Listen – allow them to feel heard by giving them a list of things they can’t have now but might want for birthdays or holidays.
- Explain – instead of just saying no, explain why. Explaining that we have money for what we need (such as food and heating) but not wants or treats helps them understand the choices adults must make about money.
- Stick to your word – saying no and sticking to it helps them learn self-control, understand the difference between needs and wants, and to save for what they want.