Blue Mountains News

Parents Stand Strong as ‘Pester-Power’ Loses its Punch this Christmas

Source: University of South Australia
Archived 10 Feb 2020 - Posted: 14 Dec 2019
Heading into Christmas, every parent is acutely aware of the ‘power of pester’: the constant asking, niggling and whining that kids typically turn on at the most inconvenient times.

Starting with a small ask and occasionally rising to a full-blown tantrum, many of us have either experienced this behaviour first hand, or at least observed it. But, how often does pestering really occur and how are parents handling it?

According to research from the University of South Australia, Aussie parents are faring very well, with just over half of all shopping trips occurring without any challenging behaviours from children, and when requests do occur, less than 20 per cent of parents cave in.

Lead researcher, UniSA’s Dr Bill Page says the finding is a positive sign for parents heading into the holiday season.

“Christmas is a time where families spend lots of time together which often means the kids need to accompany parents on the weekly shopping trip,” Dr Page says.

“Parents often cringe at this thought, especially if they’ve had to endure a child’s tantrum at the shops in the past.
 
“Yet, despite the narrative about parents feeling relatively powerless in the face of children’s nagging, our research shows otherwise, with most parents holding their ground when it comes to pester-power
 
“We found that while 80 per cent of children asked for something – and did so every four or so minutes – parents denied an overwhelming 76 per cent of requests, showing that children’s pestering is perhaps not as powerful as is often thought.”

Documenting behaviours of children aged under 14 years in a grocery store setting – a context where pestering is likely to be at its strongest – children’s behaviours were recorded via spy-camera sunglasses, or lanyard audio devices, and supplemented by survey data. 1839 requests over 89 shopping trips were recorded, with challenging behaviours, recorded via the Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory.
 
“Being able to negate difficult behaviours such as pestering, is all part of a parent’s job, and to be fair, also a part of a child’s development as they learn to express themselves and practice communication and negotiation skills,” Dr Page says.
 
“There are a number of things parents can do to make shopping with children less painful:

  • Kids love having a job to do. If you can devise a useful task, such as pushing the trolley or ticking items off a list, they’ll feel more involved and interested.
  • Visit the free fruit station. Supermarkets don’t give out free fruit to kids because they’re good people, but because they want to build a fresh food image and want you to stay in store longer. A healthy snack might give you the time to complete the shop with minimal fussing.
  • Take things to distract. Difficult behaviour often arises when kids are hungry or tired. If you have a book, toy or something to eat on hand, you might be able to stretch their patience until the shop is done.
  • Just say no. You probably already do this, but delaying or distracting tactics can help. Remember you are in charge, not the kids.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut a trip short. If it’s all going pear-shaped, sometimes it’s best to just cut and run. Go home, have a cup of tea and try again another time.

“With the shops already primed for Christmas, parents are no doubt experiencing pestering behaviours already. Hopefully, even knowing that parents are all in this together is comfort enough to carry you through the silly season. Kids will be kids, and parents will be parents – together, let’s all hope we can all stay on Santa’s good list.”

 
Buddens Bed & Breakfast Buddens Bed & Breakfast Buddens Bed & Breakfast A warm welcome awaits you...

Recent News

Travel Agents Call for Budget Support
Travel Agents Call for Budget Support
Travel agents in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury are calling for an...
Give to Get Them Home: Donations to RSPCA NSW will be Doubled for One Day Only
Give to Get Them Home: Donations to RSPCA NSW will be Doubled for One Day Only
For one day only, animal lovers will be given a rare opportunity to double...
critical mass: the art of planetary health exhibition
critical mass: the art of planetary health exhibition
As we celebrate 20 years as a City within a World Heritage Area, the Blue...
Council’s Customer Service hours still restricted during COVID-19
Council’s Customer Service hours still restricted during COVID-19
Council would like to remind the community that face-to-face customer...

What's New

A Blue Mountains Wedding- Perfect !!!
A Blue Mountains Wedding- Perfect !!!
Blue Mountains Limousines & Vintage Cadillacs White Stretch Limousines for Weddings and Special Occasions.
'Meet-and-Greet'
'Meet-and-Greet'
Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath No Open Weeks this year (2020), but we will be at the Information Kiosk in the Gardens for 6 weeks, from 2nd October.
We're open FRI SAT SUN only at present
We're open FRI SAT SUN only at present
Silk's Brasserie See Menus page for continuing Cv19 restrictions info. Book online or phone us, we do return messages.
Indulge and relax in our Wilderness Spa
Indulge and relax in our Wilderness Spa
Eagle View Escape Nestled amongst the trees, enjoy nature and the tranqility whilst soaking in your Spa bath.
Also in this Section

Have You Visited

Announcement
COVID-19 payments & issues for companiesTrumans September Newsletter now available. COVID-19 & SMSF rental relief - what you need to know.View Trumans Chartered Accountants »