Manage Your Little Kid’s Desires With An “I Want” Jar

If you’ve spent much time with toddlers and preschoolers, you may have noticed that phase most of them go through where they want all the things, all the time. They see a new toy, they want it. It doesn’t matter if it’s too old or too young for them…or if it’s something you know they’ll never play with…they want it and they want to talk about it.It’s especially fun to hear them go on and on about all the things they want a week after Christmas or their birthday.

But one mom has a creative fix to cope all the endless desires of your kiddo.Biz Ellis, co-host of the parenting podcastOne Bad Mother, says she’s been going through this with her son, who was melting down about wanting something new a couple times a day,everyday. She was doing all the right things, not giving into his demands, being understanding about his feelings, but also explaining that he can’t have that, and that AND THAT right now. But the tantrums didn’t stop, so her therapist gave her the idea for an “I Want Jar.”

Anytime the kid starts explaining how desperately he wants a new toy, they write it down on a piece of paper and stick it in the jar. So the jar is filled with things he REALLY wants and he likes it because he knows that his parents know what he wants and he can relax about it, because he has visual confirmation that his wishes and wants aren’t being ignored or forgotten. And parents like it because the kids will finally stop talking about what they want, at least we hope they will.


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