What are the developmental needs of children

Everyday family life in the corona crisis

On the way home from kindergarten, Ms. T and her five-year-old son Matthias regularly stop by a shop where Ms. T sometimes does some shopping. On this occasion Matthias gets a drink. Ms. T does not have to go shopping every day and, for reasons of cost, does not want to buy him a drink every day. Sometimes she just wants to go home past the store. But Matthias doesn't want that: taking the opportunity that presents itself, he starts every time in front of the shop to urge Ms. T to buy him the drink. If she does not agree, he increases his urging and begging, which ultimately turns into angry screaming and ranting. He screams audibly: “You are the worst mom in the world!” And begins to hit her and kick her. Ms. T then tries to bypass his attacks and distract him with the nearby playground. The distraction often fails, however, Matthias continues to scream and whine. Ms. T has to drag him home and arrives home completely sweaty. Your anger lingers all afternoon.

What can Ms. T do?

Solution 1: Ms. T could explain the situation to Matthias in a quiet minute and hope for his understanding. The next time she could remind him something like: "We agreed that I can't buy you a drink every time, and that you don't have to be angry about it!" Solution 2: Conversely, you could rigorously ban the drink once and for all and hope that he would wean himself off his wish over time. Solution 3: She could also choose another way home, do the shopping without Matthias, so as to avoid both of you getting into this situation. Presumably are all three solutions for Ms. T (and also Matthias) unsatisfactory and the current version of fighting and fighting all the way home is anyway.

The hope that Matthias could have insight and do without himself (solution 1) cannot be fulfilled because you completely misconceptions about children's needs and their ability to forego. Children's needs and impulses are extremely urgent and cannot be postponed. Children are much more passionate about wanting and wanting than we adults. It is very difficult for them to do without at least until they are 6 years old. Resigning oneself to one's own desires and needs due to consideration for others can even represent too early (unhealthy) adjustment and lead to a loss of liveliness and joie de vivre.

Matthias will probably experience the rigorous ban (solution path 2) as an arbitrary aggression against him by his mother and Ms. T will not feel comfortable in this role either. Finally, it is also not possible to avoid all situations (solution 3) that can potentially lead to conflicts with children. But what could she do then?