How to Deal With a Child Who Wants Everything

As parents, it can be a challenge to deal with the “gimmes.” Having young children who always seem to want things they shouldn’t have is frustrating and an issue that plagues many families. How do you handle the situation when your child asks for something, but you don’t want them to have it? Finding ways to address these wants – without weakening your parental authority – can be tricky.

How to Deal With a Child Who Wants Everything

Dealing with a child who wants everything can be an ongoing struggle. Still, with some practical strategies and patience, it is possible to find a balance and help your child understand the concept of limits and boundaries.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some strategies on how to deal with a child who wants everything while still setting limits and maintaining order at home.

What Will You Need?

Before diving into the strategies, let’s ensure you have a few key things ready to help deal with your child’s want for everything. These include:

  • Patience: It can be easy to lose patience when dealing with a child who constantly wants everything. Remember to stay calm and composed.
  • Boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries is essential in teaching children about limits and self-control.
  • Consistency: Be consistent in your approach to dealing with their wanting. This will help your child understand what is acceptable and what isn’t.

These three things are crucial in addressing the issue of a child wanting everything. With these in mind, let’s explore some practical strategies.

10 Easy Steps on How to Deal With a Child Who Wants Everything

Step 1. Open Lines of Communication:

Start by having a conversation with your child about their desires. Ask them why they want what they want and explain why it might not be appropriate or possible for them to have everything they ask for. This dialogue can help them understand that not all desires can be fulfilled, and it’s okay to want something without having it.

Step 2. Teach the Value of Money:

Concept of Money and Its Value

Introduce your child to the concept of money and its value. Explain that money is earned through hard work and every item comes with a cost. Take them shopping and demonstrate how decisions must be made based on available funds.

Allow them to handle small amounts of money to understand its worth. This can be a valuable lesson in understanding that they can’t have everything they want because resources are limited.

Step 3. Set a Good Example:

Children often emulate the behavior of adults around them. Therefore, it’s crucial to model smart financial decisions and self-control. Show restraint in your purchases and avoid impulse buying. Explain your thought process when you choose not to buy something. Doing this demonstrates the importance of making thoughtful choices and that even adults can’t have everything they want.

Step 4. Encourage Gratitude:

Foster a sense of gratitude in your child. Encourage them to be thankful for what they have rather than fixating on what they want. This can be done by establishing daily rituals, like voicing what you are grateful for over dinner or keeping a gratitude journal. This simple practice can dramatically shift their focus from wanting more to appreciating what they already have.

Step 5. Establish Clear Rules and Stick to Them:

Creating household rules regarding wants and needs can be very helpful. This could include parameters around when new items can be purchased (for example, only on birthdays or special occasions) or rules about earned rewards for good behavior or completed chores.

Once you’ve established these rules, it’s crucial to stay consistent and not bend them in moments of weakness. Your child will learn over time that these rules are non-negotiable and understand where the boundaries lie.

Step 6. Delay Gratification:

Delay Gratification is Important Life Skill

Teaching your child to delay gratification is an important life skill. It helps them understand that immediate satisfaction is only sometimes possible and that they may need to wait or work for what they want. You can practice this by setting waiting periods for certain desires or creating a savings goal for a coveted item. This teaches patience and the value of hard work and planning.

Step 7. Encourage Giving:

Introduce your child to the joy of giving by involving them in charitable activities. Have them donate their old toys or clothes to less fortunate people. This will teach them to appreciate what they have and understand there’s more to life than material possessions. By witnessing the happiness they can bring to others, they’re more likely to understand the value of things they own and reduce their constant wanting.

Step 8. Discuss Advertising Influence:

Children are often influenced by advertisements promoting various products. Discuss with them the purpose of advertising and how it influences desires. Explain that just because an item is promoted does not mean it’s necessary or beneficial.

Step 9. Allow Natural Consequences:

Let your child experience the natural consequences of their actions. For example, if they insist on spending all their saved money on a frivolous item, allow them to do so. When they later find something else they want but have no funds left, they will understand the consequence of impulsive buying.

Step 10. Seek Professional Help If Needed:

Finally, if your child’s constant wanting becomes a significant issue that continues despite your efforts, it may be time to seek professional help. Reach out to a child psychologist or a behavioral therapist for guidance. They can provide strategies tailored to your child’s specific needs. Remember that there’s no shame in seeking help, and it’s crucial to do what’s best for your child’s development.

 Constant Wanting a Significant Issue

By following these steps, you’ll be better equipped to handle a child who wants everything and teach them important lessons about self-control, gratitude, and responsibility. Remember to stay patient and consistent in your approach, as these are key factors in helping your child learn and grow.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Set Clear Boundaries: It’s essential to establish and communicate clear boundaries to your child about their wants and what is and isn’t acceptable. Ensure they understand the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
  2. Give Choices: Allowing your child to make choices within limits can help them feel more in control and reduce their need for everything. For example, offer them two options for a new toy rather than letting them choose anything they want.
  3. Practice Delayed Response: When your child asks for something, instead of immediately saying ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ try responding with “We’ll think about it” or “Let’s talk about it later”. This gives them time to process their desire and may lead to a more thoughtful decision.
  4. Be Consistent: Consistency is key in teaching any lesson, especially regarding self-control and managing desires. Stick to your established strategies and be patient – change takes time.
  5. Reward Non-Material Achievements: Instead of only rewarding your child with material possessions, recognize and praise non-material achievements such as good grades or acts of kindness. This will reinforce the value of non-material things and help reduce their constant desire for material possessions.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can effectively navigate the challenges of dealing with a child who wants everything.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Giving In Too Often: Regularly succumbing to your child’s wants can set a dangerous precedent and make it difficult for you to say ‘no’ in the future.
  2. Avoid Materialistic Comparisons: Be cautious about comparing your child’s possessions with others. This can foster a sense of entitlement and a constant desire for more.
Comparing Your Child's Possessions
  1. Avoid Overindulgence: While it’s natural to want to provide for your child, overindulging them can lead to unrealistic expectations and a lack of appreciation for what they have.
  2. Avoid Using Items as a Form of Love: Items should never be used as a substitute for love and affection. This can lead to the misconception that love can be equated with material possessions.
  3. Avoid Neglecting Discussion: Never neglect the importance of openly and honestly discussing the issue with your child. Understanding why they want certain things can help you guide them toward healthier attitudes and behaviors.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you can strengthen your approach to dealing with a child who wants everything.

What Are the 4 Most Common Parenting Styles?

  1. Authoritarian: This parenting style is characterized by strict rules and high expectations, often with little room for negotiation or compromise.
  2. Permissive: Permissive parents tend to have few rules and are more relaxed in their approach, often giving in to their child’s wants and desires.
  3. Uninvolved: Uninvolved parents tend to be emotionally distant and provide little guidance or support to their children, resulting in a lack of structure and boundaries.
  4. Authoritative: This parenting style balances being firm with rules and expectations while being responsive and nurturing to the child’s needs.

It’s important to note that no parenting style is considered ‘perfect’ or ‘wrong.’ Instead, it’s about finding the best style for you and your child. However, research has shown that authoritative parenting leads to positive outcomes in children, such as higher self-esteem, better academic performance, and healthier relationships.

Better Academic Performance

By understanding the common parenting styles, you can evaluate your approach and make necessary adjustments to deal with a child who wants everything effectively.


To conclude, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to dealing with a child who wants everything; however, by using the tips mentioned in this article, like strengthening your relationship with your child, setting reasonable limits and expectations, listening to what they say and encouraging other ways of expressing emotions instead of buying things, you can help your child learn the limits of wants versus needs.

Even so, it’s important to remember that being firm and consistent is key if you want to ensure success in teaching them a lesson about contentment and satisfaction – as well as fiscal responsibility.

Hopefully, the article on how to deal with a child who wants everything has given you some useful insights and ideas on handling this common parenting challenge. Remember, as with anything, it takes time and patience to see changes, so keep going if things change over time. Just keep using these tips and tricks consistently, and eventually, you’ll see a positive shift in your child’s behavior. Good luck!

You Can Check It Out To Dispose of Old Plastic Toys

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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