Negotiating With Kids Means Fewer Arguments

When I was a kid my parents set the rules, and there was no discussion about whether or not we wanted to follow them. Those were the rules, and if we didn’t like them—tough! Of course, this often led to argument which resulted in punishment and constant mutterings of the words, “But it’s not fair!”

According to a recent article published by the Times of India, moms are less likely to say, “NO!” these days, at least not with the same vigor and reluctance to budge as we once did.

A recent study commissioned by social commentator, Neer Korn, suggests parents as a unit are more likely to listen objectively to their kids’ demands. The study also took a good look at the manner in which kids pester their parents. Many kids admitted to strategically gauging their mother’s mood and overall exhaustion level before attempting to ask for something they wanted.

As kids, my friends and I were more prone to play our parents against each other. If we wanted to do something or go somewhere, we always asked the parent more likely to say, “I don’t care, ask your mother.” In turn, we would go to Mom and say, “Dad said I can go to Becky’s house if you say it’s okay too.” Because we presented one parent with the other parent’s stamp of approval (even if it wasn’t really approval,) the other parent was more likely to agree and say yes.

The study on today’s kids and parents suggests moms and dads are more likely to negotiate to avoid argument and keep the peace.

What is your approach? Do you hear your kids out and encourage discussion and debate, or do you still cling to the model our parents used?