The Negotiator

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I’m not Samuel L. Jackson but I find myself engaging in negotiations on a daily basis with my nearly 3 year old.  ‘If you go on the potty I’ll give you a treat, if you eat your dinner you can have ice-cream, if you get dressed we can’……

Am I on a slippery slope, making a rod for my own back or is this a normal parenting experience???

Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

31 thoughts on “The Negotiator”

  1. it's normal. Personally I prefer the negative approach at times – if you don't eat your dinner, you can't have icecream, but it's a moot point.We all resort to bribery. The one thing I'd say is never make a threat you're not prepared to carry out, as sooner or later the child will test boundaries.

  2. Its a slippery slope to the rod for your own back, My 6 year old is born to be a lawyer, and I get fed up with negotiating, I end up with do A or you wont get B, no, I will not be discussing this with you, this is the way that it is going to be. I am in charge, not you. :-)But, perhaps Madame is a tad young for that, I got to that stage after having to negotiate for everything for 4 years, he wore me out, so now it is my way or the highway.If she is reasonable, then negotiate, you will both be happy, if she is constantly trying to grab an inch more, then you will need to get tough. Eventually, she will learn that, Mum means what she says, and that if she does what you want, she will get a nice treat.

  3. I have 4 kids aged 16 down to 2 and I still do this! although its more money than ice cream the older they get lol

  4. HAHA and this is what they want, as long as you are consistent, and you lay down rules that are easily understandable, Eat dinner and you get pudding, dont eat dinner and no pudding. They do try it on and it does take time, even now, Archie will try it on, you have to be tough, they will not die if they dont get the pudding, they can stamp and scream and cry all they want, they still arent getting it. As long as you stay tough, they will understand.

  5. I don't know what is right or wrong, but I have a view (as I do on many things!) – in the real world we are punished if we do wrong, at least this is a treat for doing right!My kids are pretty well mannered, follow instructions etc but I'd done this negotiation stuff so many times – they are 6 and 4 now…What I've found works is not so much offering a reward but explaining why things have to be done, what the benefit will be…e.g. – If you keep practicing on the potty then when you can keep your pants dry we can go to the shops and choose some really pretty ones. – You'll be able to stop wearing pull ups and be like a really grown up girl…- You need to be able to go to the loo by yourself when you are older, so using the potty will help you learnand…- if you don't eat your dinner you'll not have enough energy to play…- the vitamins in your food make you clever so you can learn how to do things all by yourselfBut anyway, a treat after a meal is fine isn't it? I say no pudding unless they've eaten…So I think you can mix it up a bit – mine now know if we muck about getting dressed for school there is no time to play before having to go in for instance – consequences that matter to them – giving them the "what's in it for me"Must admit, girls are incredible negotiators, but by the same token my experience was that after a while my "you can have X if you do Y" failed cos she said "I don't want X that much anyway…" – if you go down the "what's in it for me" route, putting yourself in her shoes, you might find her more motivated to do what you want!!!Hope that helps!

  6. I'm no expert and much of my parenting life is a bit of a blur but…{tries to remember} I do a bit of this but not much. When my four-year-old doesn't want to get dressed I kind of call his bluff, say he'll have to go to playgroup like that and some of the other children might think it a bit funny, what with his willy on show and all. Seems to do the trick.And some things are non-negotiable (and yes, I do say that as well, even though the youngest ones probably don't understand the meaning but they get my drift). I think it would be exhausting to have to negotiate everything. Perhaps a bit of suffering the consequences might help. Just a thought.

  7. God I do that permanently. Mine's 3 in october. Constant stream of negotiation. Positive and negative. Even down to the finer points of how many stories I"ll read her and how many songs I'll stay for (she has lullabies on a cd player otherwise i'd be in their all night). But in the end I just say right that's it, I'm counting to 3 and then…. she normally gives in then. Sometimes I just can't be arsed to keep on negotiating. Love the look of your blog by the way.

  8. Sorry bad example…don't want to give you impression that I give her sweets for everything….Diabetes rampant in our family and she rarely gets any…it was just an example.

  9. Just realised, our ex-nanny invented bobby the police man who will come and talk to the 4yo if he is bad – he is pretty concerned about that bobby – so I kept his illusion going. My mum used to say "that's it then, I'm telling your father" – not sure he ever did anything but the idea was really scary!

  10. I spend my life negotiating with Charlie, now he does it back. If you let me do this, i will give you a kiss…. if you don't let me do this I will go a live with …. personally I think its all good life skills. As an adult I have to negotiate every day, so I see it as giving him life skills, including what is a non-negotiable.One day he got stroppy and said, he wanted to be an adult and make decisions. I told him that first you have to learn to make them and people who don't learn about what they can and can't do, make very bad decisions as an adult, becuase they don't know how to. I explained that these people, then got into trouble, because ultimately, if you make a bad decision then a policeman will tell you off. I was very surprised by his response …."Yes, like XXXX in my class his dad killed someone and went to prison.." Never found out if it was true or not, as its not really something you ask them, but it took me back a bit! I certainly got the impression that he understood though!

  11. I shall leave you with a final chapter on tough love, sometimes, after school, we walk home with a classmate and friend of Archies who we happen to be friends with too. Now and again we go in and the boys play and we have cuppa and I usually leave by about 4. Now, for a while, Archie had really been playing up when it was time to go and I had reached the end of my tether, he had kicked off again so I picked up his shoes, coat, bookbag etc, opened the front door and chucked them , and him out, his jaw absolutely dropped to the floor, I could see that he was thinking "How DARE she do this to me" .My mate was almost in hysterics, he had never seen anything like it, but to this day, when I say that it is time to go, he doesn't argue.

  12. Totally normal… you're not alone! I still have to do this with my almost-5-yr-old Zack! Although these days it's more like "eat your dinner or you wont get your DS to play for the rest of the week". It terrifies him enough to do as he's told! ;)

  13. I loved this post and thought I had commented before on it. Children and negotiation eh? There is a lot of it in my house – mainly negotiate with kisses and cuddles – wonder how long that will last?

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