Tips for Negotiating With Children

Thursday - April 24, 2014

Negotiating with children is sometimes a good strategy for advancing their social skills


Learning to patiently negotiate with your children can give them a sense of independence while guiding them to proper actions and behaviors.

No matter how patient you are with children or how well-behaved your children are, there will be moments when that patience is challenged and you’ll have to do more than suggest a behavior to get your children to cooperate. You might tell your child to do his or her immediately, while they request another 10 minutes of watching TV instead.

Ordinarily, your two options are to give in and let your child have the extra time or put your foot down and force your child to comply. Forcing can lead to a tantrum and possibly resentment, but will get the child to do what he or she needs to do. Giving in will satisfy your child, but may also set up a habit of disobedience.

This is where negotiating comes in. If your child asks for 10 minutes of an extended activity, offer 5. Working with your child to find an acceptable solution for instances like these will allow your child to feel more independent and more in control of his or her actions, while still giving you control of the situation.

Additionally, negotiating skills are of critical importance in social development. If your child isn’t able to talk out the conflicts that arise with you as a parent, how can he or she be expected to work out a problem with a peer?

You shouldn’t necessarily negotiate over every conflict that comes up with your child, but implementing it regularly can have a profound effect on their behavior and social development.

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