How To Negotiate With Kids

Trying to convince a child to do something they don't want to do is nearly impossible. Need your kid to take a bath? Eat their veggies? Put on their shoes? Go to bed? We all know the struggles that come with parenting stubborn children.

But fear not! I have compiled a list of clever ways to get your child to obey. Let's say you need your child to clean their room -- it may go something like this:


1. Ask nicely.

Simply walk up to your child and say, "Sweet child, please go clean your room." Now, unless they are  unlike any kid I've ever met, they most likely won't respond with, "Okay, mother!" The responses you're likely to receive are

  • But why?!
  • I don't want to!
  • Can I do it later?
  • Nooooo!


2. Reason with your child.

Once your child has shown resistance to obedience, it's important to explain to them the purpose behind following your instructions. But please bear this in mind: Trying to reason with a toddler is very much like talking to a drunk. You won't get very far.


3. Bribe your child.

Once reasoning with your child has failed, most parents move on to providing incentives for their offspring's obedience. Offering dessert, extra tv time, and maybe even a trip to the zoo to get them to clean their room. Often this will spur the child into action where they go to their room with the intention of cleaning it, only to give up after realizing how much of a pigsty they actually live in.


4. Beg your child.

Once your child has rejected your bribe on the grounds that they're too lazy to pick up their crap, you may find yourself resorting to, what I like to refer to as "a near breakdown." You'll tear up while falling to your knees and begging them to "Pleeeaaase clean your room." You may even offer to help with most of the mess before you realize that your sweet baby is holding firm to not budge an inch.


5. Threaten your child.

Now, you WILL reach this step in the process of teaching your child obedience. It's inevitable. All of your past attempts to get them to pick up their room have resulted in the stand-off that is now taking place. You pick yourself up off your knees, dust off your mom jeans, and square off with this human being that once grew inside of you. They're stubborn -- but so are you. You can do this. Take a deep breath, grab a trash bag, look them straight in the eyes, then threaten to take away every possession they have until they're old enough to leave the home if they don't pick up their damn room. NOW!


Honestly, there's a good chance none of this will work and you'll be left standing there, holding an empty bag, trying to decide if you want to go to all the trouble of confiscating all of your child's belongings or just give in.

Then you remember your hubby will be home in six hours and you'll just let him deal with it. After all, it's probably his fault the kid is like this anyway.

You're welcome.