As a parent there are a times when you need to negotiate with toddlers. Suddenly small people get a mind of their own and we find ourselves battling against strong wills. My youngest is 5 and has a will of steel, it can be a godsend (I love it when people fight for what they want) and at other times draining. We have all given in a times for an easy life and to be honest I think you have to pick your fights. When you become a parent you start to become much more creative in the way you handle your stroppy toddler. Here are a few tips from fellow parents – we’re in it together!
How do you negotiate with
terrorists oops I mean toddlers?
Katy from katykicker.com says: It can be really easy as a parent to get in to the mindset of saying no to things just for the sake of it. Give in sometimes, depending on the situation, and don’t feel guilt for doing so.
Don’t negotiate with your children, it teaches them to try and negotiate every time you ask them to do something. If there’s no choice explain what needs to be and done and why, then stick to it. If there is some flexibility, outline the choices clearly and let them choose. Catherine from www.mamacatandbabybee.com
You have to be careful. Pete Says. I promised to but my kids treats if they did well in their spelling tests. They both do very well now, but expect something every time. The problem is, they’re trying hard for the wrong reasons. I think if I stop buying them the treats, they won’t try as hard. www.householdmoneysaving.com
Elizabeth: Maybe there are some limited risks you’re willing to take, and maybe there are some concessions your child is willing to make. The potential problem with negotiations is that they can degenerate into ultimatums and hard-headedness. You get nowhere, forging only resentment and rebellion.
Sophie from mamamei.co.uk I just shove a boob in my youngest’s gob if she’s moaning! Her love of milk quickly stops any tantrums!
Resort to bribery
I tend to use bribery quite a lot, says Collette although I make myself feel better by thinking that I’m “managing the situation”, sounds a bit more positive! www.trulymadlycuckoo.co.uk
Ann at www.rainbowsaretoobeautiful.com says: We work a lot on rewards in our home – many autism homes do I guess. But, it’s knowing what to reward with our lot. They are getting a reward not holding me to ransom. I don’t offer unless I’m prepared to deliver, even if that means us going out to get what I promise. As yet, they’ve never asked for anything I won’t think a suitable reward. Maybe they just aren’t big enough yet.
Adam says: Rarely, but if everything fails, I use bribery. And I do it openly, by stating – I will bribe you now (“you” is my 6 to daughter). If you X, you’ll get Y. Usually (always) negotiations follow, but when it’s clear it’s either doing X and getting Y or doing X any way with no bribe, I “win” the discussion. What I like about the situation is that it immediately turns “I don’t want to do this” in fun conversation and attention is focused on doing X (rather than opposing) one way or another. And since this is light hearted, it doesn’t teach my daughter to be bribed more often or be rewarded for everything we ask her to do. www.thecoachingparent.com
When no means no!
Sometimes you just have to say no. Says Nicole I’ll explain why I’m saying no once, but if course the kids want to keep that going with arguments as to why it should be a yes. This is when the whining starts.
9 year old: Mom, if I do really well in school for a month, can I get a treehouse?
Me: I’m sorry honey, I wish we could, but those are really expensive and difficult to build. I don’t have the time of or the money.
9: Please, Mom! I’ll help build it!
Now here’s where I’m normally tempted to get involved in a back and forth that would only lead to more whining. But I won’t do that anymore. Instead, I say this:
Me: The answer’s no. Don’t ask me again.
9: But Mom, I said I’ll help!
Me: Already answered.
9: Mom, I promise I’ll help!
Me: Already answered.
9: Mom, please! All the other kids have treehouses! It’s not fair!
Me: Already answered.
9: Ugh! Fine! (Stomps off)
I know it’s not ideal, but eventually, they get used to you just repeating “already answered” over and over, and they’ll stop whining after the first time. https://nicoleroder.com
Some great advice for when your threenager (and beyond) starts to get stroppy. What do you do? Comment below on any other tips that work!