Do you teach your kids to negotiate?
Ive mentioned before that I’m doing my best to make my kids capable confident and accountable (not to mention self aware). I spend a lot of time pondering some of the parenting “wisdom” I hear to see if it makes sense for me.So my question is Do you teach your kids to negotiate?
This one is no exception. Ive heard parents say you should “never negotiate with your kids.” Then I over heard some one in a coffee shop say “life is all about negotiating”.
So if you should never negotiate with kids and life is a constant negotiation when does that process start for them? Wheres the point where they are allowed to negotiate? Is it once they reach 18? Now that they’ve had a lifetime of being expected to blindly follow are they really equipped to then negotiate? This is the stuff that goes through my head. If you’ve got to teach them everything why is this any different?
Here’s What I decided
I decided to give it a go. My thinking is that one day I will send my kids out in the world to get jobs buy cars and have relationships. If I don’t get in the habit of letting them try those skills now then Ill need to start after years of expecting blind obedience.
Here’s how it started
My daughter is a night owl. Admittedly she goes to bed too early because mom and I are pooped. She often stays up in her bed reading or playing with her stuffies.
One night she said “Dad can I stay up late?”
Immediately I said “No.” She began to protest when I put my plan into action.
I said “You can negotiate.”
She naturally said “What does that mean?”
I said “You can make me an offer back maybe for how long you’d like to stay up.”
She said “An hour!”
I said “How about 10 mins?”
She said “Ok”
I said “But you’ve got to be in your bed”
She said “ What if I’m in my room playing quietly?”
I said “Ok but can you promise me you’ll go to bed quickly when its time?”
She said “OK!”
I imagine there’s a few of you reading this gasping that I would succumb to such a permissive approach.
Hear me out:
- I created an opportunity for her to learn a new skill.
- By the time all the goofing around had ended during a normal bedtime it would have been much later anyway.
- She felt like what she wanted mattered.
- Ive noticed she has started to use this skill to resolve conflict with other kids………WHAAAAT?
SO far this has been a dynamite skill to use. Not everything we do is up for negotiation but it’s also made me realize that the demands I make are often kind of stupid and selfish. Why cant they have a say sometimes? They’re going to one day shouldn’t we start now? I may be wrong, ………feel free to negotiate.
I sure hope this helps, Happy Dadding everyone.
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