Post below is written by Candace from WorkingMomX. It is my great pleasure to have her here as a guest blogger! I hope you’ll enjoy her post since she specializes in helping moms find the balance between work, family and life.
Kids are not afraid to negotiate. Ever. Anybody who has kids knows that everything is a negotiation with them. And negotiating with kids is tough.
Have you ever heard the saying- kids would make the best sales people? There’s a reason for that- they are master negotiators. They aren’t afraid to ask why, and they aren’t afraid to ask questions.
Negotiating with the parents
Kids are not afraid to negotiate with their parents.
Doesn’t matter if you’re the mom or dad. You could be the favorite parent, and it still doesn’t matter.
Want to see that switch in your kid’s tiny little human head flip and them instantly start negotiating? tell them it’s time to get ready for bed.
I’m not ready for bed. I need five more minutes. This TV show is almost over. This YouTube video has only seven minutes left. I am thirsty. I need a snack. I’m hungry. You need to sign my reading folder.
They will use any delay tactic imaginable. And it doesn’t matter how tired or frustrated you are, they will come at you with all sorts of counter offers. They don’t have to think about it, they just do it.
Parents don’t stand a chance.
Negotiating with their siblings
Your kids will also negotiate with each other. If they are arguing, it just means the negotiation broke down. Separate them, let them cool off, and then they can re-open the negotiations again.
Often times you’ll hear them negotiating over toys. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a parent is not getting everybody the same gift. If they each received different gifts for Christmas, all you’ve done is create a scenario where negotiations will commence with earnest.
Just listen, you’ll shortly start to hear them trying to trade items with their siblings.
But sometimes it can be an unsuspecting younger one, who has no idea how bad of a deal they are getting. What do you do now? You have to make a choice- let them learn the hard way on what it means to get taken advantage of, or step in as the mediator.
Sometimes it can be pretty funny to watch or listen to. My thoughts on it are go ahead and let them work it out. If neither one of them is complaining, it can’t be that bad.
Negotiating with the grandparents
This is probably where the least amount of negotiating takes place.
Why? Because grandparents are push-overs. They’re notorious for giving the little ones anything they want. They think that’s pretty much their role as a grandparent, give them whatever.
But what happens when Grandma or Grandpa finally decides to put their foot down and tell them no? Well, this is when Grandma and Grandpa get to see the side of their grandchildren they don’t usually see. The side the kids normally save for Mommy and Daddy back home.
Mommy and Daddy deal with it every day, they’re battle hardened. Grandma and Grandpa? Not so much.
Poor Grandma and Grandpa just aren’t any match when the kids kick up the negotiating into high gear.
Related Post: This is why your kids are not listening to you!
Why kids are so good at negotiating
So, what is it about kids that make+s them so good at negotiating?
Plain and simple- they’re smart, they’re intuitive, and they have no filter. They quickly grasp what they want and just say it. Zero fear.
How to negotiate with kids
First of all, don’t be afraid to negotiate with your kids. It’s actually a great learning experience for them.
It’s good for kids to realize how much more effective negotiation is than tantrums or waterworks of tears. And if they do start to throw a tantrum, end the negotiation right then.
But if they’re being calm and respectful, and you can give them a little ground, you will be teaching them how to get something they want in an acceptable way.
It’s also important for you to stay calm. Sometimes the answer is just no, and that’s the final answer. Other times, maybe you can be a little flexible. In either case, you can maintain control simply by being calm while holding your ground.
Sometimes, your child may come across as very interrogative- like they are cross-examining you. Don’t be afraid to share with them your point of view and why you are coming from where you’re coming from. Give them information that helps them understand why you’re giving them the answer you are. Instead of it just being you saying no, make it about the bigger picture.
Negotiating with kids isn’t a bad thing
Negotiating with kids isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard either. Show them respect, and that you expect the same back from them. Help them understand that negotiating can be a win-win, with some give and take.
It may not always come at the most opportune times, but you’ll be doing great things for your kids when you teach them how to use this skill effectively.
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