When our daughter started talking, we taught her please and thank you almost immediately. Though we did this with the best of intentions, it led to a real problem with begging. Immediately we started troubleshooting ways to get our precious and attentive toddler to stop begging. We knew that if we didn’t find a solution, it would become worse as she decided to want more of our food or when she set her sights on something she just had to have.
After a few weeks and being very consistent in our efforts, we figured out an easy way to keep our toddler happy, keep our cools, and get our toddler to stop begging.
So what did we do to get her to stop begging?
To get her to stop the incessant plea of “please, please, please”, we taught her to “Wait”. Ok so that sounds to simple, right? Well what we did every time after saying wait is we would “Shhh” while holding a finger to our mouth. So over a few weeks to a month, if she started whining and begging for some food and was doing it at a very fast rate, we would slow her down and end her begging by saying wait and shushing gently. This then led to us saying wait, and then she would hold her finger over her mouth, “shh”, and then wait.
This has come in very handy as we have needed to get work done and she has wanted our attention and it has helped her understand that she will get food when she is hungry, but she does not need to beg! Over time (6+ months), the same reaction comes with “give me just a second” and “Please be patient”.
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Why do we also use a sign to get our toddler to stop begging?
Our family is also very keen on not using words when possible. So if my child is begging from across the room, all I have to do is hold my finger to my mouth and she instantly knows that I have acknowledged her and that she needs to wait just a second and I will help her.
What gentle & peaceful parenting approaches have you used to help with begging?
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!