Resist her demands for treats at the store.

How to Get Your Toddler to Stop Begging

by Maggie McCormick

Few toddler behaviors are as annoying as constant begging, and this seems to start as soon as your little one starts talking. If you don't nip it in the bud now, you'll be surprised how quickly you have a teen begging for a new car. Help your child learn that begging is no way to get the things she wants.

Reduce the amount of television she watches. Toddlers don't realize that commercials are made to sell products, and advertisers take advantage of this. When she watches programs that have commercials throughout, she'll start to see all the things she could have -- and they all look so fun! Limit her exposure to these marketing messages by choosing video-on-demand programming or DVDs.

Mean what you say. If you constantly cave after five minutes of her begging, she's going to learn to keep begging until you give up and give in. If the thing that she's begging for is really something you don't want her to have, mean no when you say it. When you say, "After dinner," or "Maybe tomorrow," follow through on that as well.

Ignore requests unless they are made politely. Sometimes the request that your child is making is reasonable, but the begging is not. If she won't stop begging for more juice, simply ignore her request or tell her, "I'll get you more juice when you use polite language to ask."

Start an allowance. Amy McCreedy, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, suggests that even 3 and 4 year olds can start earning an allowance. Your child can save this money, and when she begs for something, ask if she has enough money to buy it herself. If you're going to go this route, you can't get upset when she chooses to blow her money on something you deem stupid.

Add it to her birthday list. Keep a running list of the things she wants for her birthday or other holidays when she receives gifts. She'll feel that you're listening to her desires, but you don't have to buy anything right now.

Make a deal. If the thing your child is begging for is reasonable except for a certain thing, you can give her some conditions. You might say, "You can't have ice cream right now, but if you eat all of your vegetables, you can have some after dinner," or "I can't get you that toy you want because you have no place to put it. If you give away five toys you no longer play with, I will get you a new toy."

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images