Step Tame the Gimmes Then Dont Back Down

The next step to squelching your kid's greedy ways is simply not to tolerate the attitude. Always giving in to your kid's greedy desires doesn't do her any favors. Say no more often to your kid's whims and consumer demands, and do so without feeling guilty. Of course, if your kid is used to always getting what she wants, your new response will more than likely not be popular with her. So explain your concerns and the reason for your new policy, and then stick to it. Here are some other methods for taming the gimmes:

• For a younger child, set a reasonable budget for major expenses like a back-to-school wardrobe, birthday parties and presents, and holiday gifts. Stick to it and don't cave in. For an older child, give him your dollar cap, and let him be responsible for deciding how to spend it.

• Whenever possible, encourage family members to make gifts and presents instead of buying a lot of expensive stuff. Many times grandparents, other family members, teachers, and friends really appreciate something you've actually created yourself much more than a store-bought item.

• Pass your "no frills" policy onto other immediate caregivers, particularly grandparents, relatives, and your partner.

• Enlist the aid of friends and grandparents—who often delight in "spoiling" your child—by suggesting they buy only one gift at birthdays or holidays or give money for your child's education fund. The more you stick together, the more effective you will be in curbing your kid's greedy streak.

• Never bribe or reward your child with material gifts just for doing something he should have done anyway.

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