Dealing with pester power

4min read

Child being demanding and challenging

How do you respond to a child who wants everything? We offer a few tips on managing your child's expectations, and helping them to understand the value of saving and earning - with the added bonus that they might learn a bit about responsibility and setting achievable goals.

Pester power is just a fancy description of when children and young people are desperate for the new fad and want mum and dad to pay out for - often pretty expensive - toys, clothes and trainers and don’t stop asking until they get it. It can also apply to teenagers who might be piling on the pressure to attend parties, festivals, sleepovers etc that as a parent you are just not sure about.

Companies have realised how powerful children and young people are as consumers. Many marketing and advertising campaigns aggressively target children and young people. Every season, especially Christmas, new toys and gadgets come onto the market and many children and young people want to get their hands on it.

Although it doesn’t feel like it at times, you as the parent are the most valuable resource for your child and any creative time you spend together is worth more than anything you buy. Even if you work, which leaves you with less time, think ‘quality time’ and do something you all enjoy. It can feel good to spoil your child with expensive gifts but cost is a great consideration for most parents, as is keeping limitations on how much you treat your children, so how do you manage your child’s demands and expectations?

Watch this video on managing demanding behaviour

Further resources

It may help to chat to other parents on our forums to find out how they are dealing with this issue within their family life. You can also talk to us online via our live chat service, email us at or call us on our helpline on 0808 800 2222 to speak to trained family support worker.