Life is all about negotiation. From the minute children can stand negotiation begins.
With my son about to turn three, we are slowly tightening the screws while he attempts to expand his boundaries.
It is a constant battle that any parent can relate to.
Some parents cave and give their children what they want.
Other parents go the other route, punishing children in order to get them to do what they want.
I try to do a bit of both, always trying to show him how much I love him while reminding him that there are some things that just aren’t negotiable.
Despite my son having never spent one minute studying negotiating it’s amazing to see how natural he is at it.
Kids learn what work for them.
For many, crying is very effective so they resort to it whenever they don’t get what they want.
Unfortunately this loses its effectiveness as we get older.
When kids cry, it’s cute.
When adults cry, it’s weakness.
However, there is another technique that kids learn early on that is most effective in negotiating almost any deal – ask for more than what you want and then through negotiation, get what you really wanted.
Sometimes they’ll even accept your initial offer, which is ever better.
But more often than not there is a counteroffer which is much closer to what you really wanted in the first place.
Why does this work?
Because people like to feel as if they have some power over situations and by allowing them to seemingly win (by reducing the first offer) both parties are winners.
We do have to be careful our first offer isn’t too high because at times people can view that as being unreasonable.
While this is quite an advanced concept my son has quickly learned to utilize it.
When he asks to watch one more show, we say, “No.”
In response he says, “Please.”
Then he throws in, “Little bit.”
You see, he’s backing off his original request so it’s harder for me to say no this time round because his request got smaller.
And let me tell you…when you see his little face scrunch up and look extra adorable, there’s not much you can do.
So next time you want something, go ahead and try this simple technique, you’ll be surprised how effective it really is.