How can you get a three year old to understand that he doesnt get a “present” for being good at the store.?
Question by Mommy2351: How can you get a three year old to understand that he doesnt get a “present” for being good at the store.?
Everytime my husband or I go to the store, our 3yr old feels intitlement for a toy or treat of some sort. When he realizes that he isnt going to receive anything he goes in to full tantrum, embarrasing us. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Answer by S.K.
Ah, the down-side of rewarding good behavior at other times with a little present rears its ugly head!
Threes are capable of logic, actually. They also benefit from repetition.
“We are going to the store today. I know you’ll be a good boy.” Later, “It’s not too long until we go to the store. I expect you to be a good boy.” Later still, “We’re going to the store now. I’m sure you’re going to be a good boy, and if you are, then before bedtime Daddy or I will read to you for ten extra minutes.” As you enter the store, “Remember, if you’re good while we shop, extra reading tonight. But no toy, good or bad. We are not here to buy toys and treats.”
Later, whether he behaved or not at the store, “You’re a big boy, and smart enough to know that you’re good nearly all the time. We can’t give you a present every time you’re good or our whole house would be filled with presents. Wouldn’t that be silly? Where would we sit? I’m still very proud of you when you’re good at the store. Daddy is, too.”
Giving your attention as a reward, and praise when it’s earned, works really well.
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