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by Mia Von Scha, Transformational Coach, motivational speaker, children’s author, student to two Zen Masters (aka kids), avid cloud watcher and lover of life. Find her at Jozikids or follow her on Facebook.

Winter holidays are here, which for some of us means lazy mornings in bed, hot chocolate with movies, and… shopping with the kids. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll usually attempt to do any form of shopping while the little ones are safely at school, far from the checkout aisle at Woolies or the colourful insides of ToysRUs. What parent doesn’t dread that constant “I want… I want… I want…”. We’ve all been there and the temptation to become Mr. or Mrs. No-Sayer is all too strong.

The trouble is that it is natural to have desires, so how do we deal with this without squashing our kids’ ability to dream and to create their realities as they would like them to be, AND without turning them into little spoiled brats by buying them anything they want?!

Credit: wayneart.org

Credit: wayneart.org

The secret lies in the wishlist. Invest in the sacred bit of magic called the pocket notebook. Trust me, once you discover its secrets you will never again attempt another shopping trip without it. When “I want” rears it’s ugly little head you can say, in a very understanding voice: “I know… isn’t it a wonderful x, y or z, I totally get why you would want that, so let’s add it to your wishlist”. And out comes the magical notebook, the item is added, and believe it or not… there is no whining to follow.

For once in your life you get to experience being the yes-sayer, your child feels that their desires are being heard and acknowledged and shopping trips don’t turn into temper tantrums.

It is worth occasionally buying them things that are on their wishlists – for birthdays or Christmas – so that they can see their desires manifesting, but trust me, they won’t remember everything on the list.

The wishlist simply shows kids that you respect them and their desires; that you take them seriously and are not always trying to brush them off. They feel that they are worthy of your time, and that their desires are important enough to write down.

If there is some behavior that is driving you nuts in your child, remember that a wise man (otherwise known as Carl Jung) once said, “If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves”.  A small change in adult behavior can go a long way. Try the wishlist and prove me, and Dr. Jung, right!

Enjoy a tantrum-free holiday and be the change you want to see in your kids.

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