Click here for part 1.
3 Key Elements to Lead to Appropriate Negotiating
1. Ask yourself who has ownership of making the final decision.
The solution can be decided by the adults, the children, or the parents and children together. Discussion and negotiation can occur when the child has full or partial ownership but not when the parent has full ownership.
2. Clearly state which issues are negotiable and which are non-negotiable
Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson in Growing Up Again, 2nd edition, offer a worksheet format where you can write down your nonnegotiable and negotiable rules. A posted written rules sheet can be useful for future reference.
3. Respond without fueling the negotiation
If your child keeps arguing it is because you have kept the argument going. You probably respond to the “Why do I have to” question because you think that you always need to explain your reasoning. State it once and that’s it.
Be aware of your own need for power as well as your child’s.
If your child’s goal is to gain power and get what they want, then your explanation will probably not stop your child from arguing. Your child will not say, “Thank you for explaining that to me. Now I understand and I will do what you want me to do.” Don’t we wish!
Click here for part 3 where you will see this strategy put into action.
©2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.