Hi, you would think my daughter was deprived from the way she moans. According to her, all her friends have the latest mobiles, iPods, satellite television in their bedrooms, and go on holiday to the Bahamas every six months. Perhaps some of them do, but we can’t. I’m a single parent and I haven’t got the money although I work all the hours under the sun.
Alexia, Hertford, UK
CG: You don’t say how old your daughter is, but if she is old enough to covert these items then she is old enough to understand that she can’t have everything she wants instantly. The present credit crunch has taught us adults that! Don’t feel guilty, and don’t be persuaded into buying something you can’t afford. Explain to your daughter that we all have to budget, and if she really wants an iPod (or whatever it is) perhaps she could save up for one from her pocket money, or have one as a present for Christmas or birthday?

Pause For Thought: Always use first person when speaking to your child ‘I love you,’ or ‘I want you to tidy up your toys,’ is far more effective than the third person – ‘mummy loves you,’ or ‘daddy wants you to be a good boy.’ We wouldn’t go into a hair salon and say – ‘Mary would like a hair cut please,’ yet many of us use this way of speaking when addressing a child. Third person creates distance, but first person comes directly from you and is more likely to be acted on by your child.