How To Negotiate With Your Children Effectively: 5 Tips

How To Negotiate With Your Children Effectively

Find out what do you agree on first

Before you jump into a negotiation with your children for what you don’t agree on you should first identify what you do agree on. Oftentimes we may think that we’re far off in negotiations when we’re closer than we think. By starting off with what you do agree on you create a positive jumping-off point. For example, let’s say that your child wants to extend their curfew from 11:00 PM to midnight. Start the conversation by agreeing that midnight is late and that all you really want is for your children to be safe.

Get to the heart of the issue

Saying that they want their curfew extended is not reason enough. What is the real reason they want to stay out later? Ask them pointedly for a direct answer. Maybe it’s because that’s the curfew other children have. That might not be reason enough for you but in your child’s mind that is reason enough for them.

Find a common ground

If you really want to let your children grow and learn you will eventually have to make some concessions. If you want to negotiate with your children you may need to give in on some demands at times as they will as well. Keep in mind that the art of negotiation will be useful for your children later in life for things like purchasing a car, a home, salaries, and more.

Start small and then go big over time

Start small when negotiating with your children and agree that there can be changes made over time. Let your child know that we will start by changing your curfew by one hour and let’s see how that goes before revisiting the issue in a few months.

Be specific in the outcome

You need to make certain that you’re specific in the outcome of your negotiations. Reiterate the outcome to them and ensure that you’re both in agreement. “So we agree that moving forward you can stay out until midnight and if you want more time you need to let us know whose house you are at”?

Sometimes the answer may still be NO!

Regardless of how your negotiations go with your children the answer may still be no in the end. Prepare yourself for this outcome and be ready to stand your ground. At times what your child is negotiating for just doesn’t make any sense to you or may not be safe for them. Prepare yourself for pushback even after the “no” and let them know there is no room for negotiation. Be prepared to explain yourself and don’t just say because I said so.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store