Teach Your Kids to Negotiate with You Instead of Arguing8,515 views
Getting your kids to do what you want can be very frustrating all the time. Kids simply want to do what they want not what you want. So the other day after eating dinner we had cupcakes for dessert. Our son ate his dinner like a good little boy and started to enjoy his cupcake. Our six-year-old daughter, on the other hand, refused to finish eating her dinner and started demanding to have her cupcake. Keep in mind that she was exhausted as it was the end of the day and often at times exhaustion can cause one to become completely irrational. In this case, she was being completely irrational in her demands. She wanted dessert without eating dinner. Having dessert without eating dinner is something even parents aren’t allowed to do.
We told her over and over again that she will get her cupcake once she finishes her dinner but it was no use. She went to the corner of the room and started demanding to have her cupcake. My wife was getting quite fed up with her as she refused to listen to a word we were telling her. The situation was quite frustrating.
Seeing that the situation was not going to get resolved by fighting I decided to take another approach. I went over to her and told her that its not fair to make demands and she has to learn to negotiate. She stopped her whining, looked at me, and said, “What’s negotiate?”
How to Negotiate
I gave her an example and told her that when she’s playing outside and I tell her that she has to come inside in five minutes and she says she wants to come inside in ten minutes and I respond and say she has seven minutes that that is negotiating. I said to her that she just can’t demand to have her cupcake, she needs to negotiate. I told her that to negotiate in this scenario would be to suggest something else that she might eat instead of chicken.
So she turned to me and said, “I will eat five triscuits instead of eating chicken” I responded and said, “Great! You got a deal. If you eat five triscuits you could have your cupcake.
She ate her five triscuits and she got her cupcake.
The next time she was confronted with a similar situation she negotiated instead of whining.
Almost every night before bed my kids get to watch a kids video (we don’t own a TV). One night it was almost bedtime and the kids still needed a bath. My wife said that it that there won’t be time for a video tonight because the kids need a bath and need to get to bed and since the kids like to play in the bath there won’t be time to do both.
My daughter really wanted to watch the video so she said, “Hey I have an idea, what if we take a quick shower instead of a bath then we could watch a video.” My wife responded, “If you do it fast and get dressed for bed then you could watch a video.” The kids showered, got dressed for bed and were down in front of the video in less than 15 minutes.
Its amazing how cooperative kids could be when the most precious things in life i.e. cupcakes, cartoons are on the line.
This post was submitted to the July 9 Issue of the Carnival of Family Life hosted over at The Expatriate’s Kitchen
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