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Negotiating with Kids: When You Should and Shouldn’t

Negotiating with Kids

The job of parenting seems to get harder and harder as generations change. In my day there was no negotiating. You either did what you were told or you would suffer the painful consequences of a spanking. Even in my elementary school teachers had reputations for being mean and having a special paddle that she would unleash on you if you misbehaved. Fear was the big thing that kept children in line back then, and parents all agreed with the strong hand of the public school system.

Those days are all gone now and everyone has agreed to a more nonviolent way to deal with our children. Sometimes it can get pretty tricky but if you do your homework, it can all work out for all parties.

Set Boundaries

Children did not come with instructions as we all know, and neither did being a parent.  It is all a learned process as we live from day to day, so don’t beat up on yourself for making mistakes. Everyone, even your own parents have made mistakes in parenting. I believe that knowing what you want and don’t want is a good guide to start with. Do you like noise and dirty clothes all over the house? If that’s a no, then it would be wise to teach your children how to be organized and when to be calm and quiet. Make your own list of deal breakers and decide how you would execute them. You can even reward them for keeping things clean and staying quiet when you really need it.

Never Cave in

Our children are so cute, I know, but please don’t let that sweet smile turn you into a powder puff. It happens to my husband all the time. He will say no for about two minutes, and if our son fusses long enough, that no will become a yes. Children catch on fast to who is the weaker parent and will get what they want every time. Do not make negotiations when you can’t even stick to a hard no. Be the adult and make your case heard and understood. It will not be the end of the world for your child.

How to Negotiate Like a Boss

You don’t need a business degree to manage your children, just a bit of common sense will go a long way. You know what you want your life to be, and you know what values you want your child to learn, so keep that in mind when you make the rules in your home. There are certain details that should not be negotiated such as not harming others, showing respect, and being a good decent human being.  Then there are things that may take more time to catch onto and those are the ones that should be negotiated, such as washing the car, keeping gas in the car if they are young drivers, paying back money, making donations to charity and other valuable situations.

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Written by BM Staff

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