The idea of negotiating with their child may not sound acceptable to many parents. However, by negotiating with their child, parents can help them learn quite a few important life skills.
By Arun Sharma
Hari was playing a tune on the keyboard after dinner, when his mother asked him to put on his nightdress. Hari answered, “But, I don’t want to sleep now.” Hari associated putting on the nightdress with going to sleep. Understanding his concern, his mother said, “You don’t need to go and lie down after you change your dress. You can practise for 10 more minutes after that.” Hari immediately put away the keyboard and went to change his dress.
As children get older, they start developing choices of their own and are reluctant to follow what parents tell them. Be it going to bed, eating a particular dish, choosing a dress to wear to the party, fixing the time for studies and so on, children want to have their say in everything that concerns them. A lot of parents feel angry and frustrated by their child’s intransigence and throw up their hands in despair.
If you are also a parent who is unable to make your child agree to what you want him to do, think again. Instead of forcing your child to do what you want him to, you can negotiate with him, give him options and make the entire process stress-free. Let us look at how we can negotiate with our children.
The objective behind negotiating is to teach the child some very critical life skills. Some of the things that parents can teach their child through negotiations are:
Remember, negotiation is not about letting the child have his way or bribing him to do what you want him to.
While you put these techniques to test, also remember to use age-appropriate language and end your conversation on a positive note. If it seems like things are going to go out of hand or are turning bitter, take a break and come back after some time. Probably, you can never ever make the negotiating process perfect, but negotiating with your child can help build a stronger parent–child relationship and equip your child with a critical life skill.
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