Sandy told me the story of her 4-year-old son begging for candy at the 7-11 store. She had picked him up from preschool and was making a quick stop at the store on the way home. He started begging her to buy a candy bar.
First he asked for a bag of M&M’s, and then he changed his mind and wanted a super-sized Hershey bar. Sandy explained that he could choose any of the small size candy bars but not the big ones. He began whining and insisting on getting a big candy bar. Finally in exasperation she gave in and said he could choose whatever candy bar he wanted.
She thought this would end the drama but instead he then totally melted down. She ended up carrying him out of the store kicking and screaming without any candy. From that incident, she realized that setting firm limits in a loving way was what he needed, not more candy.
For ideas on setting limits, watch the Setting Limits section from Lesson 1 of the Priceless Parenting online parenting class.