Get your kid to stop nagging you to buy things

"Just happy and healthy," is a response soon-to-be parents like to give when asked by loved ones if they hope their baby is a boy or girl. If this is true, how does unhealthy food enter our children's diet? Why has obesity among children ages 12 to 19 tripled since 1980?

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Children certainly aren't going out and buying the junk food for themselves — parents are encouraged to buy these sorts of products for their children. One reason parents buy these products for their kids: nagging.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studied how mothers of young children ages three to five experienced nagging from the little ones, as well as the mother's coping mechanisms.

Commercials on television and products' association with fun characters contributed to nagging, and mothers said packaging, characters and commercials were three main factors that got their children to nag.

Children nagged in three ways: juvenile nagging (repeatedly asking for something and throwing tantrums), nagging to test boundaries, and manipulative nagging.

Mothers had 10 strategies to deal with nagging:
1. Give in (this was the worst strategy)
2. Yelling
3. Ignoring
4. Distracting
5. Staying calm and consistent
6. Avoiding commercial environments
7. Negotiating and setting rules
8. Allowing alternative items
9. Explaining the reasoning behind choices
10. Limiting commercial exposure

The strategies that mothers suggesting working the best were limiting commercial exposure (if children aren't aware that a product exists, they won't ask for it) and explaining to children the reasons behind making or not making certain purchases. Personally, my mother found the latter strategy to work the best. Yelling sometimes worked too.

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Related Links: Make way for Generation Y Why do rich people have fewer children? The surprising public cost of teen pregnancy

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