Parental Negotiating Nuggets

Children are negotiation experts; why? They take no, as an opportunity of saying this is where the negotiation begins. Yes, with a simple NO. Children growing up in the early 60's and such were working to gain a better life style. Rules and jobs were a necessary part of life. Obviously, teens today are much more focused on here and now.

Needs and wants are a focus with plenty of time to think or experiment on how to get the items. We have all negotiated to some degree, but how much are we aware of and put to a productive non violent use? Here are some tips gather from a well know author, Herb Cohen.

Herb's book has been influential in many fields and is sought after by professionals and common man such as you.

1. Distinguish between morality and propriety
Families all have some common behaviors and tastes. To force these on your children is obscured in their eye's. So, to get to the important factors to influence them on such as: no drugs', no driving if alcohol was consumed, respect for the dignity of people. Children were to take my advice with my own experiences to help give an account of my experiences and the strength of the convictions, he could so what ever he wanted. Another words use some independent thinking, and cognitive thinking skills. Tell them of your experiences and consequences let them decide.

2. Minimize peer group pressure
To get a different approach to this is; Rule that if a child did something stupid and gave the excuse that "everyone else did it," he would be punished commensurate with the offence.
If he came up with the idea by himself not pure pressure, ever though it wasn't a good choice that it would be midi gating factor. Let them think out side of the box.

3. Obtain timely information
Insist that you should be the first to know. You should be the first to know bad news first. No surprises, minimal punishment if any. This way you can defend them and get the story while it's fresh in their mind.

4. Use descriptive "I" language
Being non judgemental and not overreacting to things you are told. Be calm and cool(not accusatory), substitute the word "I" for "you".
Kid is playing ball against the the wall with the TV blaring. e.g. I'm disturbed by the TV, I think I'm getting a headache.

5. Lessen sibling rivalry
When children have differences and disputes, don't play the role of mediator. Have them resolve their disagreements themselves.

6. Let the offender determine his fate
Generally they recognize that they overstepped the bounds and expect to be disciplined. Let the child act as mom or dad, "What do you think is fair punishment should be?" The child is more committed to accepting the out come because of his involvement.

7. Learn to forgive-especially yourself
Vast majority of us, however, take this responsibility seriously. Perhaps too seriously.

Make a game out of negotiating, laugh and have fun. Remember our greatest challenge as parents is negotiating with our offspring in ways that produce win-win outcomes.
I had been looking into teaching my child skills for his future but, this tops the cake.


  1. Some really good tips!

  2. Great post and tips!

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