What if my child wants to buy every toy in the shop, and does not consult me?

“What if my child wants to buy every toy in the shop, or their own island, and does not consult me? Everyone knows children are impulsive. How can they be trusted with the family money (which is, it’s fair to say, my money)?”

What if my wife wants to buy every diamond ring in the shop, or her own island, and does not consult me? Everyone knows women are impulsive. How can they be trusted with the family money (which is, it’s fair to say, my money)?

My reply sounds shocking because our culture no longer views women through the lens of paternalism. Only children.

Taking Children Seriously does not mean the parents self-sacrificially going along with a child’s initial theory, any more than it means children miserably going along with their parents’ initial theories. What we do instead is find a solution that pleases everyone. This is often a new idea that was not one of the initial ideas parents or child had.

The idea that resolving disagreements is a simple matter of deciding who should win and who should lose is a mistake. Human beings are able to come up with something much much much better: an idea that everyone prefers. And when that is the way your family generally functions, the idea that these kinds of problems are not soluble is absurd. If you knew that you could come up with an idea that would be better than any of the parties’ initial ideas – an idea you would all love – surely you would find that preferable to an outcome in which someone wins and someone loses?

Sarah Fitz-Claridge, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: What if my child wants to buy every toy in the shop, and does not consult me?, https://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/what-if-my-child-wants-to-buy-every-toy-in-the-shop-and-does-not-consult-me/

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