How to negotiate with your kids

05 Jul How to negotiate with your kids

How to negotiate with your kids – In my experience kids don’t do what you say, and when they do it’s fairly rare they do it the first time you ask. I’ll say “It’s time for bed.” “It’s time to go home.” “It’s time for your tea!” But I’ll get told “not yet” or “in a minute”. This can be madding and I get sick and tired of saying “no”. So what can you do about it? Blow up? Maybe give in? Or you can try and negotiate. Here are some of the things I have learned while trying to negotiate with kids.

Limit the area of debate.

Limiting the area of debate helps you and the kids know what you actually agree on. Finding out what you agree on means you’re coming from a positive point of view rather than a negative one. For example, the kids want to stay up past their bedtime, but instead of flat out saying “no” you could give them the option (if they are good) they can stay up an extra 5 minutes. This way the kids feel that if they ask nicely and behave you are open to giving them that little extra time. Though I wouldn’t recommend doing this all the time as you want them to keep to a regular bedtime, on those occasions I would recommend being firm with them so they don’t think they can get around you by being whiny.

Another example is getting them to eat their tea, I may start by asking them what they want, but usually get a “don’t know”. what I tend to do in this situation is give them an option of two meals. So this way they get to make a choice but from two options I have picked. This technique works well for me when it comes to outfit choices too, same thing as before but replace meals with outfits.


Finding out what they really want. 

Sometimes kids find it hard to express themselves and tell you what they want and other times they have no idea what they want. Try to remember this when a tantrum ensues. First try to calm them down, keep your tone low and tell them to stop crying so that you can help them. Usually by the time they’ve calmed down they’ve forgotten what it was they were crying over or they calm down enough to explain or show you what it is that they wanted in the first place. Just remember to stay calm and not rise up to their volume.


When the answers no the answers no.

Sometimes you just have to say no and stick to it. Now, this might cause them to go into a tantrum but you have to weather the storm. I found that initially this can be a bit of a nightmare but it’s important to not go back on it so they know you mean what you say. If mine didn’t throw a tantrum they might try and get around me with a bit of emotional blackmail or even use the classic “my mum said it’s ok”. They still try this now and again, but it’s got a lot better with time.


You have final say.

Sometimes you won’t be able to reach a middle ground, and you as the parent will have to make a decision. As long as you hear them out, acknowledge their point of view, in the long run should build trust between you and the kids. In the end, this will help future negotiations go a lot more smoothly.


That’s my tips on how to negotiate with your kids, as always if you have any comments or you have any advice yourself please leave a comment below it would be great to hear from you.

Say Hello On Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks David