Negotiation is an important skill in business, with millions of books written on the topic. But in parenting, it is often neglected.
With a headstrong three year old in my house, and a lot on my plate, I'm finding that negotiation is a life saver. And we're both learning so much from it!
As soon as she was verbal, I started applying negotiation as a parenting tool. At the start, it was very basic: instead of using controlling language, I would give her options.
Example: We are going to the restaurant, what do you want to wear? A dress or pants? Come with me to your room and pick something out.
|Negotiation tactics mind map - Jean Louis Zimmerman|
Now at three, my daughter really grasps the concept of negotiation, and often, she will come to me when we are in conflict and suggest to make an agreement.
I really like this tool, because it is a real life skill, and we're both learning. And this way, neither of us gets to feel like we're just folding for the other all the time. We get to make deals and revise our positions. I like that she gets that you can look at a problem from different sides and find a solution, and most often, one that suits everyone.
Sadly, since most views on parenting are that of a top-down situation, negotiation is often not on the menu, turning kids into the same inflexible people there parents were when raising them.
Little side note: I'm talking about negotiation, not manipulation ;)