- Many parents tend to think that negotiating with the children should be prohibited. They believe that negotiating with the children makes them confused about different things, and that they start to doubt in your ability as a parent.
Of course it is right to stand firm on your rules, but being harsh to children in the name of being non-negotiable over the rules is not right. As a matter of fact, there should be a bit of negotiation over certain matters. It would not only help your children to develop some decision making skills to understand the difference between right and wrong on practical grounds, but it would also help both of you to develop a better connection with each other.
Furthermore, another benefit of negotiating with the children more often is that they would start becoming more cooperative with you. Now, it’s your job to make the two choices out of one statement to give your child the impression that you are flexible. For instance, you can ask your child to go wash the face or you can offer to wash his/her face.
- Here, many people may think, ‘what about the matters which are non-negotiable?’
Well, you don’t really need to negotiate over the matters with fixed rules. But again, there is a difference between being firm and being harsh. You can tell your kids about these rules in polite way. It would be even better if you add a bit of humor in order to be friendly. For example, you can ask your child to go to bed right away or you can offer to become a bedtime wrestler.
- Sometimes, saying no and sticking to it becomes the absolutely necessity even if the child shows some tears about it. Nevertheless, you should be calm and clear about the matter. Show your kid that you completely understand/his/her concern. That’ll convince your child to obey you in the end.
- There are some times when your child expresses what he/she likes to be done, and you realize that there wouldn’t be any harm in fulfilling the child’s preferences at some extent. That’s the kind of win-win that you should often encourage if you want your children to be obedient and friendly. For instance, consider the following situation:
"Okay, I hear you want to stay at the park longer....And I need to get home in time to get dinner started. What can we do?.....Hmm, staying another 20 minutes doesn't work for me; it doesn't help me get dinner cooked in time....What about this? Will you two help me peel the potatoes?...Terrific! We found a solution that works for you AND works for me! We can stay ten minutes longer."
- The major advantage of this approach is that the children learn about finding win-win solutions. They get more cooperative and they tend to involve other individuals in finding solutions.