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  • How to Prevent Tantrums when Kids Say "Mommy Bilmoko Nun!"

    Does your child beg, cry and throw a tantrum when you don't get him what he wants? We show you how to nip it in the bud.
    by Ceia Ylagan .
How to Prevent Tantrums when Kids Say "Mommy Bilmoko Nun!"
PHOTO BY www.webzubra.com

  • Overcoming the ‘bilmoko’ urge
    One need not worry, however, that the child will grow up to be materialistic or greedy. Both Tirazona and Galera assert that this behavior can be curbed when responded to and addressed correctly. “The urge to make pabili dissipates over time, especially if parents do not give in to their child’s every whim,” stresses Tirazona. Galera warns, “Giving in never helps. It just sets a precedent for other situations. Once you give in, then your child knows he can manipulate you. When you give in, your child learns that the next time he wants something and can’t get it, he just has to throw a tantrum.”

    Introducing the concepts of ownership and possession to your child in simple examples helps teach him that he cannot always get what he wants: 

    • Talk to your child. “Calmly explain to your little one in simple words that money is valuable. That you have to earn it to be able to buy something; that parents work hard to earn money. In the same way, [your child] also has to work hard to get what he wants. This will help him learn to value money as well as be more industrious,” advises Galera.
    • Bring your child to work. “Let your child see what you do. You can tell him, ‘I do this so you can have food, so you can go to school, so I can give you gifts when you’re well behaved...’” suggests Galera.
    • Expose him to other children. Galera explains that children who are exposed to playgroups or go to school learn about ownership and possession because there are other kids they need to share the toys and books with. “This teaches them the value of sharing and taking turns,” she says.
    • Be a good example. Tirazona advises, “[Parents] can help explain this concept to their kids by acting it out or role-playing. For example, Mommy can ask Daddy if she could borrow his cell phone for a minute and then return it afterwards. Act this out in front of your child so he can observe you.”
    • Teach the magic words of sharing and borrowing. Tirazona suggests, “Instead of just saying ‘May I borrow...’, get your child involved by saying, ‘May we borrow your _____, please?’”   She adds, however, that “parents should also follow up this lesson with the idea of things we cannot share and why we cannot share these. This will strengthen and reinforce the concept of possession.” Examples of things we cannot share are personal objects such as a toothbrush, underwear, towels, etc. “Because it is not hygienic to do so,” adds Tirazona.
    • Give your child a piggy bank or savings account. Aside from teaching him about the value of money, this is also a way for your child to discover what possession and ownership are all about. Remind him that the money he saves is his and that he should use his money for things he believes have value.
    • Read books on sharing and ownership. “Storybooks about sharing help teach the concept of ownership quite well. It helps your child understand that some things are ‘mine’ and some are ‘yours,’” says Tirazona.
    • Come up with a wishlist. This isn’t an ordinary list of things your child might want, but rather “a wishlist with a counterpart expectation to be able to receive the item as a reward,” according to Tirazona. “[It is a good way to let your child] understand that things aren’t always given freely, but that you have to work hard to [get what you want]. This can translate to a good work ethic in the future where your child will be aware that you have to put in effort to gain something in return.”

    Mina Garcia, graduate student, teacher, and mom to Catia, 6, sums it up, “Your children should be made aware of the value of money and be able to distinguish wants from needs.” She proudly reveals, “Sometimes, when I go into a department store with Catia, she asks me if she could buy a toy. I often say, ‘Maybe next time’ and ‘only if it is not too expensive.’ Now she’s the one who says, ‘Mama, next time if you have extra money, could we buy this toy?’ She knows that toys are gifts/wants and not needs. I think it’s important that children keep that sense of joy in receiving toys and gifts so it does not become an expected thing.”

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