Do children outgrow this pestering behaviour?
While the whining or crying usually reduces by 7-8 years of age, pestering can take other forms, as children grow older. An older child may nag, badger or even threaten his parents in order to meet his
demands. Pestering sometimes takes the form of negotiating “If you buy this game, I will do my homework all week”!
Does pestering in children morph into any other problem when they are older?
Children who habitually pester and fulfil their needs, find it very difficult to take ’no’ for an answer. This can become an issue since as a child grows up there are numerous situations in one’s life when
he has to deal with things not going according to plan. This ability to deal with disappointment is an important tool that can help an adolescent/adult deal with reality in a healthy manner. The growing
number of suicides among adolescents and young adults is often a result of the individual’s inability to deal with disappointment.
Also children who are used to getting their way by pestering are also in effect learning to manipulate their parents. This tendency to manipulate people to meet their needs may come in the way of forming and maintaining healthy relationships as adults.
“My three-year-old asks for new toys each time we go shopping. It is very important to be patient, say a firm ‘No’ explain why and let it wear off. Also, distracting him works for me.”
Fazila Rehman, a homemaker
“My six-year-old and two-year-old constantly ask me for new toys and chocolates. First few times, I gave in, but then I learnt how to handle it. I negotiate, remind them of similar toys, and ask if they will really use it….”
Priyank Porwal, a financier
“We distract our five-year –old, when she demands. If it doesn’t work out, she shows her dissatisfaction by being adamant and not talking for some time. We feel that engaging and spending more time with her
makes her understand.” Senthil and Geetha, software professionals
“My seven-year-old constantly asks for new toys, more television time, chocolates. I negotiate, reason out, sometimes get annoyed. He sometimes throws tantrums and sometimes understands. It is important to find out why he is throwing tantrums.” Roshni Chandran, a marketing