It happens to every parent! Your ten year old child walks into the living room and asks if they can have a cell phone even after you have explained to them that you will visit the conversation when they are thirteen years old. They already know what your answer is going to be, but they proceed to give you every single argument that they think could possibly change your mind. As a parent you may be left sitting there wondering how to end the war of negotiation with your child. After all, it begins to sound a lot like whining at some point.
I first ran across a pin on Pinterest that was linked to this article. The article credits this piece of advice to Lynn Lott, co-author of the Positive Discipline series of books. I have personally never read these books, but I definitely thought her advice was worth a shot. Her advice to end the war of negotiation is by using three simple words: ASKED AND ANSWERED!
I always tell my children that they are more than welcome to come to me and talk to me about anything at any time. But sometimes they take that for granted and their talks begin to sound more like whining. This mom does not do whining. As my daughter begins to tell me all of her carefully thought out arguments that she hopes will change my mind, I respond quickly and firmly with three words. “ASKED AND ANSWERED!” She has learned in a very short time that when those words are spoken from my mouth, it is time to drop the subject.
I never want my children to ever feel like they can’t talk to me about anything that is important to them, but I also want them to understand that there are some things that are not up for negotiation. For me that is a cell phone at the age of ten years old. For you it could be something different: Digging a hole in your prize winning flower beds, climbing on the roof of a house, leaning too far over the edge of the boat, or any other ludicrous thing you can think of. Sometimes no just needs to be no, so the next time you find your child trying to negotiate a topic that you are not going to budge about, try this!
What about you? Do you have a different approach that you have found to help you end the war of negotiation with your child? Comment below and let us hear all about it. Moms everywhere are dying to know!