Two words I wasn’t even aware off.  I became aware of this while I was doing my research on sugar addiction. Pester Power. Yes, you’re right.  It comes from the term “pestering”.  So many of you have been in a shop, you had your child in the shopping trolley, and they start pestering you for something. Whether it is a sweet or whether it is a packet of chips.

If you like to listen to the video, you can watch below.  If you like to read, you can continue below the video.

There is a scientific explanation as to why they are doing this and it is not what you think.  The terminology pester power is used by marketing, especially in the fast food industry.  You should not even feel bad when you child pesters you in the shop for something that they want.

The marketers are marketing their products in such a manner so that your child pester you for something.  A lot of people are not even aware of that.  So, here’s the thing about pester power. By the age of two-year-old, your child can associate more than 20 logos with something they have experienced before.  In other words, they can understand and see what the McDonalds logo means.  They know and understands what the Chicken Liken logo means.  They know and understand what Dunkin  logo means.

By the time your child is 2-year-old, they can start to pester you for things that they see.  So, here’s the science behind all of this.  You drive your child to school every single day from a very young age.  And on your way to school, you see a lot of fast food outlets.  Your child also sees these outlets.  Every single day, they will see the McDonald’s logo, they will see the McDonald’s shop.  Every single day, they will see the KFC logo.  And that is how your child starts to associate nice things with a logo and they know from a very young age, it’s something they want.

So that is exactly what the marketers use to make sure your child wants something that you will then eventually buy for them.  Marketers do not market to the parent.  They market to the child.  And they know the child is going to pester the parent for what it is they want and then the parent gives in and buy it for the child.  And that is how marketing works.  Very clever. So, you are not a bad parent when your child throws a tantrum in the shop.

Now, it is a bad situation.  You get yourself in that situation when you take your child with you to the store, but the one thing you could do is to not take the child with you to the store.  The second thing you could do is to avoid the isles in the middle of the store.  Try and avoid the sweet isles at all.  Research has shown that when the child do start to pester parents for something that they want  , in 80% of the instances, it is for sweets or chocolate.  And in 75% of those scenarios, the parents do give in.

Also, maybe a tip for those of you who sees a child throwing a tantrum because they want something, and the parent said no – the best thing you can do is to not judge the parent.  Walk away. Let the parent deal with the situation.  It is right for the parent to say ‘no’ to the child.  Many people will judge parents because they don’t want to buy the child sweets.  And that is completely fine.  It’s perfectly fine if the parent don’t want to give in.  It’s the right thing to do.

Pester Power is real.  It does exist and it’s everywhere.

Be good this week and try to limit the sugar at least for one day (or a few hours).