Friday, December 10, 2010

Negotiating the Peace

One thing you realize fast when you become a parent, is that kids' minds are spinning at top speed from the moment they can walk.  They want things, they have their own ideas, their own will, their own likes and dislikes.  When they want things, they want them NOW and will insist until you either make it absolutely clear they cannot have it, or until you back down and give them what they want.  As soon as that is over, they start wanting something else.

Kids are relentless, and are skilled negotiators.  I found myself having to convince my 2 year old that his ducky pajamas were not the right clothes to wear to the store.  It was a battle of wills and I had to do a lot of quick thinking and be strong to stand my ground against his protests.  I knew that to get him to comply, I'd have to appear as if I was giving in to his desires in some way.  I'd have to give him choices - all of which had to be agreeable to me.

"Either your favorite blue jeans, or your overalls, or your grey shorts."
 
"NOOOOooooo!!  I want ducky pjs!"

"But remember your Grandma gave you these shorts?  They came from New Jersey!" said with awe and amazement as if New Jersey was paradise.

He pauses and then decides that shorts from New Jersey are the coolest thing ever and agrees.  Now for the shirt, the socks, the sneakers.  There always have to be bargaining chips on the table:

"You have to wear the blue sneakers, but then I'll let you take your water-gun in the car."

He wants the beat up old red ones?  Then forget the water-gun.  I speak as if the US Constitution itself dictates that old red sneakers can never be worn if you want to bring a water-gun in the car to the store.  It's just not done.  He sees there is no way around it, and even agrees to a clause:  the water-gun can come, but without any water. But now the shirt is a problem.

I sneakily choose one shirt that I like, and then quickly put it back, and say, "No, no, not that one."

Immediately he shouts, "That one! That one! I want that one!"

I hesitate, act uncertain, continue listening to him beg, and finally give in as if I had never wanted him to wear it in the first place.  He is triumphant. He puts it on as if it had been his idea all along, and at this point the ducky pajama's are so old news.

I'm a bit worn out by the whole ordeal, but at least I have a decently dressed child who is in a happy mood and ready to go to the store.  This scenario will play out over and over again through many and various situations.

How is this better than just demanding he or she does whatever you want them to do?  They feel grateful that they have a say in the little things in life that are their own, while you are still the authority in charge that has the last word.  

30 comments:

Sandra Cruz said...

Just love the way that you explain parenting. Mrs Evelyn you should think about writing a book about this subject....

Rebeca=) said...

Lol love it! I admit when I took care of my nephew when he was a todler I would have made the classic mistake of doing totally the opposite of this smart thinking technique.

I think I would have been just as adamant as he, but for the opposite. "But you can't wear PJ's to the store, you have to wear this." And then the battle of wills would begin. I didn't know all I know today, I became an aunt at 14, and then my nephew moved in with us, so I know I made some classic mistakes. Lol let's just say I had some stressful early teens. But thank you for the post, makes a world of sense and you don't have to be a Mom to relate.

missleon said...

Wow! This is great advice and shows that you need to be smart, wise and a little bit cunning, which is also sometimes needed when we find ourselves in sticky situations in other areas of our lives! This is also something I hope to remember and put into practice should I one day have kids of my own!

Aurore Desvarieux said...

What you write is so so real! I had the same fight with my little brother when he was around 5 years old... I remember how I had to be ingenous to find ways to get him dressed!

Erika said...

WoW Ms.E your good. I never would of thought of this technique. And Rebeca as well I agree with you, you dont have to be a mom to relate to it. I love your blogs Ms.E I can apply them when im in the Kids Zone as well : )

√Črica Paula said...

Good night my darling big sister!
Very good your posts. and it is true we always do what we think is right, but the problem is that we think as adults, and make decisions as adults.
Decisions more complicated ...
And it would be easier if we think like children because we understand them more
I remember there was a time I was baby sister of two children.
One was 1 year and had another three years.
The 3 year always wanted to choose clothes that she wanted to use.
The problem is that she did not have a good style, hahahahahaha
Always wanted to put what was uglier,
The shoe of one color and one of another color, the opposite side of the shirt etc. .. And the more I spoke not, she cried more to wear that dress.
But my concern was not that she was dressed wrong.
But it was because I was thinking of me, because I was ashamed to walk with her by my side like that and people laugh.
It is a regret that at that time did not blog this!
I would certainly have helped me a lot.
Kisses and see you tomorrow

Adrianne Escarraman said...

I really like this post. This is a very good advice for me.

Thank You!!!

(ADRIANNE ESCARRAMAN-- NY, ALTO MANHATTAN)

suLmaaa said...

Wow that's awesome! I really admire how you think outside the box! These are really good tactics!

Lillian said...

This is a very smart way of dealing with kids. I remember with my own brothers, the times I would just tell them they couldn't have something done their way, or tell them what to do, they would even listen because they knew they had to, but they wouldn't be happy at all which would in turn not make me feel happy either... When I learned about how kids love attention (for some reason we tend to forget this fact as we grow older), and started making them feel like they could be the ones to choose, I would get the result I wanted and they would still be happy in the end... thanks for this post!

Camilla Magalhaes said...

I think this is a great way to deal with kids, at the end everyone's a winner! Mrs. Evelyn, you a a great mother and should consider writing about parenting. All mothers should followers!

Bianca Lima said...

This is very smart way of dealing with kids, since everyone is a winner in the end. I remember my mom doing this with my sister, its very interesting what kids are capable of thinking.
Bianca L

Izamar Romero said...

I love this!!! To be honest what I would have done or said is "Te la pones por la buena o te la pones por la mala" its like saying are we doing this the easy way or the hard way!

I mean thats the way I was taught, but like in the end its like you just end up with a big headache instead of accomplishing anything

I love your Idea its so much better!

Sibon said...

This is a very interesting way of dealing with children. It's true that you are allowing them to have their say but at the same time you are still the authority. Your blogs are very helpful as I now look after the 10-13 years old's in my church. And I am learning how to deal with young children without sounding patronising.

Edith said...

My mom never negotiated with me lol. It was always her way, but it was with my little brother that we needed to negotiate with all the time. These are really good to practice with kids.

LIZA said...

Hello Mrs. Evelyn,


Really good negotiating Mrs. Evelyn I will surely use this with my kids they could be a little demanding at times and never really knew how to deal with it, now I know how to negotiate with them and at the same time keep them happy.

Derlin said...

THAT'S TRUE AND GOOD.

Yuliana said...

Mrs.Evelin, you're awesome! This is a great technique to use. I have two little nieces and many times I ended up doing what they wanted instead. But I really like the way you always work your way around kids, this is very helpful, thanks a lot.

Laura said...

Mrs. Evelyn,

I enjoy reading your blogs because many of them help me in my role of "mom of an almost 2 year old". Negotiating the peace is so wise. My tweo year old insists on having it her way. I'll just have to give her more choices...that are agreeable to me.

Bianca Moctezuma said...

This are good techniques, Mrs. E.
This is something i used to struggle with my little brothers, when i had to babysit them. lol

Raquel Parras said...

This negotiation is good because both of them come out happy with it, it is an extraordinary technique to use...***

Ligia said...

thanks Mrs,Evelyn for the tips!..I myself am a new mom of an 18 month old and he's going through the IIIIII ohaze and acts as if he 's always in control, and i'm trying to learn different ways to negotiate and still show love but also disciple!Thanks i will practice this now!

tendai3000 said...

I am not a parent but this sounds really good.As a parent I think one should find ways to stand their ground but also open to negotiations.I work with children and sometimes they just want to have their own way.But if you just negotiate with them in wise way the problem is solved quickly.Even when I was growing up my mother was very open to opinions but in the end she was the one who would win.Its something that we have to learn from children just not to back down if we want something.

Betty
UK

s.hamy_ said...

I have no children, but I have two younger sisters and I have seen them do that. They want to decide what they want or what they do not want. This message is a good technique to take care of such a situation.

natalie mdonga said...

Mrs Evelyn thank you for this interesting lesson.i will put it into practice with my young brother.when there are relationships the other person always wants to have the upper hand and to keep the peace we have to think creatively.thank you

Tania said...

this was great! that last trick with the shirt is perfect! Children like to be in control most of the time,s o giving them choices (and tricking them like that!) its a great way for both of us to get our way.

karina said...

Hello Mrs. evelyn
thank you for the tips. Even though im not a mom it still helps to know these things. Thanks again!

Nokuthula Jean said...

A classical mistake that african parents make. Do this or else method. It works, at times when kids are young but as teens this method doesn't work because just telling a young man or a young woman not to sleep around for instance - will not stop them from sleeping around or hanging out with the wrong company. But if one developes this open relationship with their kids will open up the communication chanels for years to come. Although you were exhausted once done with dressing up your son but you invested in your son and I am sure you are reaping the benefits from the seeds you planted in that young mind years ago.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is very goood advise Mrs.Evely. I also take care of my younger sisters at times and its hard work but i will do as you say this is very good...
Thanyou !!!
TRIANA SAUCEDO!!

Anonymous said...

I cant wait to hear more about it is so good i will tell my mom to read this i will use some of these tricks my self with mt sisters...
thanyou Triana

Sabrina Durant said...

This was a great explanation about the way you could negotiate with your own child. Its funny because I laughed as I read through this. It reminded me of the things I have had to do with my own son, but very useful. Thank you.