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How to deal with a demanding child

5 Effective Steps on How to Deal with a Demanding Child

Parenting is a demanding job. It demands many things from a parent such as attention, time, and other resources. Even after giving those resources, some children become demanding themselves. A child is demanding if she consistently makes requests of you to tackles things she can do herself. Such a child is yet to be independent or learn to delay what they want. This means if they want something, they want it now and they will react if they won’t get it. They won’t think it is impossible considering your current situation. Many parents are unaware of how to deal with a demanding child effectively.

Children are still growing and are their minds are yet to fully develop. These are things they are yet to understand unless they are taught by their parents, guardians, or caregivers. Dealing with a demanding child is challenging a parent will be irritated and embarrassed by the child (if it’s in public). A demanding child will throw tantrums, scream and cry without thinking twice if the request is not met. In many occurrences, this leaves the parent no option but to give in, especially if is in public such as a store.

How to deal with a demanding child

How to deal with a demanding child

Dealing with a demanding child does not require one to go to a class to be educated about it. It is a self-taught topic plus you make a mistake today, then you know how to make it right tomorrow. No one is perfect in parenting, and everything we do, we adopt them hoping they will work. If they have a helpful rate of 90% or so, then they are considered effective. That is why it’s said there is no one way to handle all children due to their different personalities.

Step1. Awareness and behavior interpretation

When your child demands something, you need to be aware of the behavior and how you will interpret it. The reaction from the child will be irritating and you will be embarrassed if you are in public. The screaming and yelling will draw the attention of other people and try to look to see what is happening. Due to this, it’s important for you to be calm, and try not to react at all. This is because a reaction happens spontaneously and its results are negative. For example, if you react, you might end up beating your child which will worsen the situation.

Step 2.  Self-regulate

When dealing with a demanding child, do not react, but respond. This is because response comes from choice. A person understands how they feel and then chooses how they will react. Take the “six-second pause” breath before responding. By doing so, you will have regulated yourselves and decided the best thing to do hence Self-regulation playing a big role in such situation. 

Step 3. Validate the child’s feelings

The next thing to do is to validate the child’s feelings. Let them know that you understand what they want and how they feel. This will calm them down as they will know they have your attention. By validating, you actually acknowledge their needs or rather demands which is a good step towards dealing with a demanding child.

Step 4. Talk to the child

Using a soft and calm tone, talk to your child. Let your child know if it will be possible for their demand to be met or not. While talking to your child, use terms that the child can understand.

For example, if you had gone to the store and the child demanded a toy and you don’t have enough money to get it to let them know. You can say, “dear, what had we come to the store to get? I only have enough money to get only those things. I will get the toy for you tomorrow”. This makes him know that you do not have enough money and it will be difficult to get the toy then.

 Speaking with a child using a soft voice lessens the chances of the child feeling frustrated. Even when a child still demands something, they will tend to reduce their voice as they notice that you are sincere with them.

Step 5. Teach your child about asking and demanding

After the child understands that he won’t be getting what he wants, it is time for you to talk to him about demanding and asking politely.

Children are still learning and they are things that they have to be instilled in them at an early age. A can become demanding because she doesn’t know how to ask for things politely. As a parent sit down and discuss the difference between demanding and asking politely. This will make the child understand that asking politely is more effective than demanding.

While talking to them, give words that show demand and others that show polite requests. This model’s your child appropriately as they become aware of good manners such as “thank you” and “please”.

Let your child understand that not all time they will get what they want and disappointment is part of life. This helps them to know it is okay to be frustrated, to be told “yes” or “no” at some point.

How to deal with a demanding child

Tips on how to deal with a demanding child

  • Do not give in to a child’s demands as she will know that being demanding is the only way to get what she wants hence she will do it more often.
  • Set reasonable rules and expectations regarding demands and child behaviors.
  • Regardless of what your child demand, self-regulate. Take the “six-second-pause” and calm down.
  •  Do not react to a situation, rather respond to it.
  • Talk to your child about demanding and asking things politely and teach them manners.
  • Use positive reinforcement if the child follows that set rules and expectations.
  • Avoid using corporal punishment when responding to a child’s demand. This shows you have lost your temper and a child will understand it is okay to beat someone when you are angry hence they can end up bullying others at a later stage.
  • Model your child properly. Children learn more from their role models. Since you are one of them, as a parent, make sure you do it perfectly.
  • Don’t act as a judge, but support. What your child needs the most is support. You supporting your child in understanding the complications of life and how to handle them is what that child requires the most from a parent. It’s better for a child to be aware that one can be discouraged from a parent than the world itself.
  • Avoid getting into arguments with the child.
  • Be patient. While dealing with a demanding child, be patient since children do not learn instantly. Learning is a process.


Every misbehaving or demanding moment from a child is a learning opportunity. If a child is demanding, that is a learning opportunity for a parent on how to deal with a demanding child and a learning opportunity for the child on how to request things politely. Communicating and explaining things to a child is more effective than physical punishment. Children get to understand how to relate and request things they want rather than just demanding for them. 

Sometimes your child might be needing more attention from their parent and you confuse with the child being demanding. Learn about the signs of the need for attention in a child.

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