I'm a fan of the forewarned is forearmed method of parenting and employ it regularly. For example, before entering a toy shop with Finje.
Needless to say I wouldn't place myself in this situation unless absolutely unavoidable, subjecting one's self to such hell would otherwise be akin to masochism.
The rules, set before we even reach the door, are explained in simple terms:
*We are looking for a birthday present for child X.
*Whilst I appreciate that she will want almost everything on sale, today is not about her.
*If she asks for anything the answer will be "NO".
*She can save her energy whilst no amount of begging or pleading will change my mind.
*When I say we are leaving I mean it.
Following verbal confirmation of her understanding, we enter. It usually works. Same goes for how long we spend at the playground or the amount of time she is allowed to wallow in the bath.
We were recently asked if we could look after two rabbits belonging to a friend of Finje's for a week. I'm not keen on vermin as pets. I believe their place is in the fields, hopping and avoiding other vermin. Or possibly in a pie. The request however, was made in Finje's presence. It caused her to positively explode with excitement and consequently made it impossible to say no.
The evening before the bunny's arrival, Finje and I had a long chat. I made it very clear to her that we were doing this as a favour to her friend. I said she could feed and cuddle the rabbits if she wished. I said she would no doubt be very sad when the rabbits had to return home. I said that she would probably feel the need to put in a request for her very own furry friends. I said the answer would be "NO".
The rabbits came and we were given our instructions. They were not allowed out of the cage as they would run away. Fed once a day and yes, you can stroke them but watch out for their sharp claws! Oh and the big one had had some diarrhea. The joy.
It took 10 minutes. Finje came out of the shed in tears. Had it scratched her? Do those things have rabies? No such thing. She had spent a little time with her new fluffy friends and had decided it was mean to keep them in a cage and wanted to release them into the forest to hop.
Brainwashed, my child?