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Law of demand and supply is one of the most basic principles in economics. An ideal state of market equilibrium is reached when the supply in the market exactly matches the demand of the market. However, this equilibrium in market is difficult to achieve and sustain due to a lot of related elements that govern demands and supplies. In fact, it is strongly suggested that for an economy to grow, it is important that demand is always slightly higher than the supply. Interestingly, this theory of economics is also applicable to parenting.
A relationship between a parent and child is made up of demands and supplies. The child makes demands, implicitly or explicitly which are fulfilled by the parent. The role is sometimes reversed in the later years but during the initial years the parent mostly acts as a supplier. A child may demand for things that could be bought from the market (toys, sweets, clothes etc.) or may demand for protection and comfort. A parent strives to give almost everything that is demanded. Sometimes even when before the demand is made or sometimes, not even made at all. And that is where equilibrium is lost and unpleasant outcomes happen. Let me try and put this in simple words.
It is natural that a child expects a gift on his birthday. A small toy, a cake and a few chocolates is what the innocent child expects initially. However, this small demand is met with a supply of multiple gifts along with an extravagant celebration. Since the supply has been more than the expectations, next time the demand is increased phenomenally. Parents still meet this demand out of love of the child. And the cycle continues. But the condition becomes unfavourable when demand is more than what could be supplied. The child, who has been brought up in an environment where all his demands were met immediately, suddenly finds himself in an unfamiliar environment. He does not know to cope up with this new situation because he has never faced a situation where resources were limited or completely unavailable. And this is where he/she will start developing negativity and harbour strong destructive emotions against the parents.
In a relationship between a parent and a child, demand should always be more than the supply. Let the child learn an important lesson that not all wishes and demands are fulfilled. And it is also important for the parent to learn that it is ok to not give-in to some demands of the child. Living in the critical era of consumerism and information overflow, parents have a higher responsibility to teach kids about self-restraint and moderation. A kid who hasn’t faced a “no” in early years will find it difficult to accept it later. He will feel dejected and dissatisfied.
It is important to create a balance of demand and supply both for parents and the children. A child growing up in such a balanced environment will learn to make appropriate demands and will value the supply as and when it comes.