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How to negotiate with children? Golden tips for effective communication with children

Study guide

With the spread of the corona virus in the world, parents spend more hours at home with their children. This more togetherness means more interaction; An interaction that is sometimes controversial. Children make a lot of demands during the day. Can we use our job negotiation skills to negotiate with children? Join us to find the answer to this question.

Challenges of negotiating with children

According to a study, out of 2,000 parents, many of them spend 8 minutes a day talking and talking to their children. Due to the prevalence of corona and the increasing presence of parents at home, this time has increased; However, the same research has shown that many of these negotiations have not been successful; For example, a successful manager, despite being a successful negotiator in his field, was not very successful at home and in dealing with his child.

In justifying this incident, he considered the irrationality of his child as the cause; But perhaps if we had noticed that many of the people he negotiates well with throughout the day are just as irrational, he would have wondered more about where the problem came from.

We need to understand the complexities of their behavior and language before we can find the right strategies to succeed in negotiating with children.

1. Emotions

Our children know well how to play with our emotions to get what they want. They use completely different tools than our co-workers: such as crying, making noise, using one parent’s feelings against the other, and with great intensity; Because they know they are not going to be fired because of their behavior and we can not leave them. Successful negotiators know how to stay focused, but this is not easy at home and with children.

2. Repetition

Negotiations and bargaining with children are repeated: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and whenever they see us at home; But this is not the case at work. Children’s repetition and insistence depletes our mental capacity to resist their demands.

3. Unexpected

Children’s desires come unintentionally and suddenly. They enter into negotiations with us without preamble and openly. At work, we have the opportunity to prepare for the meeting in advance and to prepare ourselves psychologically; But in the face of children we are unlikely to have a chance to prepare.

Despite all these challenges, the main problem is that we do not use the negotiation skills we have learned at work. Using these skills in dealing with children and family members can help resolve many conflicts, save time, solve immediate problems, and improve family relationships.

In the following, we will teach some of these skills and strategies.

Negotiation skills and strategies with children

Know what you are really looking for

In the workplace, we have a clear understanding of the goals of the negotiation and the boundaries are quite clear; But at home and in front of children, we often get caught up in emotions and power games. To understand the game of power, consider the following example:

The parents have agreed with their child that he will wear a hat when he goes out; But when the child announces that he does not intend to take off his hat, they get into a fight over who should sit in the chair. Instead of entering into this futile game, we need to understand the main goal. Here, the main goal is to keep the baby warm and prevent him from catching a cold, not to wear a hat!

By knowing this, we can find better and more creative approaches to satisfying children.

Ask questions to become more intimate

No one knows his child better than his parents; But this does not mean that blind parents can analyze their child’s intentions and behaviors. In any communication situation, asking questions is one of the best ways to bring the mental models of the parties closer.

Imagine a child who wants to eat a whole donut, but his mother insists on giving half to the child first and then the other half. The child beats the mother with great insistence and bites the donut right in front of the upset mother. In the workplace, in the face of such situations, we ask our co-worker why he insists on his positions and reach a common language, but most parents pass this stage. Maybe if the mother, before entering the conflict, asked her child why she wanted all the donuts, the atmosphere would become a conversation instead of an argument. Maybe the mother could have persuaded the child to eat half a donut by asking a game, or she would have realized that her child could bite a whole donut and was worried about the size of the donut being unreasonable.

Use any approach at the right time

Carbald negotiators know when to postpone negotiations, when to make a clear decision, and when to step aside and not argue at all. At home, we should take a similar approach, instead of arguing with them without thinking.

Adopting the right approach at any time and place depends on the age and mental and physical condition of the child. Decide where to enter the discussion and convince the child, and when to simply insist or even give up. Be careful not to overuse any of these approaches, as the effect will be lost.

Have a nice talk

Talk to children in a way that is pleasant

Successful negotiators know that “how to say” is often more important than telling themselves. Parents can use a variety of techniques to soften their speech in a way that is pleasing to the child.

Here are some of these techniques:

1. Take the lead

Many of our conversations with children involve a lot of suggestions. Be the first to submit a proposal. This will open your hand to move the negotiation in the direction you want; For example, when you consider bedtime at 10 pm, your child is likely to suggest 23 hours and both agree on 22:30; Whereas if he wanted to be the initiator of the offer, he would probably offer 24 hours and you would agree on 23 hours.

2. Give the right to choose

Instead of just one proposal, specify several proposals by prioritizing. Giving a few suggestions, all to your liking, gives children freedom of action and keeps you in control of the situation; For example, when ordering food, you choose the restaurant and your child eats his food.

Negotiation Techniques Video Course

3. “It could have been worse!” use

One of the most common methods that stores use to sell their products is to put products together at different prices. These prices are set so that the buyer feels that the price of a product is fairer than a similar product (for more on this, see Dan Ariel’s book “Predictable Nonsense”). Use a similar method in negotiating with children; For example, when a teenager makes a mistake, remind him or her that the consequences and punishment for his or her work may be greater, and that you will come to terms with him or her this time and consider less punishment.

4. Be fair

Being fair to children means equality in everything. This is a naive look; Therefore, it is better to set criteria for determining fairness in the home. To understand the complexity of the discussion, consider this example: It may be fair for a grandfather to cut all the cookies in half and give them to his grandchildren, but is it fair for your energetic teen to eat dessert exactly the size of his younger sibling? It is best to invent a word to address these issues and ask children to warn you whenever they feel they have been wronged; You can then examine each situation and determine if it is fair or not.

5. Learn the art of silence

Sometimes it is better to be silent and pause than to be present. Instead of losing control of your negotiation by talking too fast, pause to give your child a chance to think again; For example, if your child asks you to bring his or her wheelchair but you want him or her to walk, instead of giving the order, make your request first and then wait. Maybe he offers a win-win, for example, to walk and come back with a wheelchair.


Successful negotiators know how to set their own priorities, ask the right questions, and put options on the table that encourage others to approve of one. Parents may also improve their skills at work by practicing negotiation skills with their passionate children.

What techniques do you use to negotiate with your children?

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you need to consult a doctor or specialist to use it. more information




How to negotiate with children? Golden tips for effective communication with children

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