Monday, October 12, 2015

Car Buying or Parenting?

Purchasing a car is definitely not one of my favorite things to do!  I do not like the back and forth, the haggling, the negotiating, the "whining" etc.   In car buying, both parties are expected to haggle until an agreement is met.  In child-rearing that is NOT what we want to engage in.  

The scenario:
Mom:  Susie, can you please pick up your toys in the living room?
Susie:  After this show is over
Mom: Well Susie, we have company coming over in 30 minutes and I need you to be a sweet girl and pick up all your toys, so our house will look nice for our friends.
Susie:  Whahahha! I'm watching TV.  This is the best part.
Mom:  Ok, when the commercial comes on, I need you to pick up the toys.  Please do this for Mommy and be a sweet girl.  If you pick up your toys during the next commercial, then I'll will let you have a cookie.
Commercial comes on...Susie is still watching TV.
Mom: Ok Susie the commercial is on...clean up your toys please.  Remember we are going to get a cookie if you clean up the toys and be a good girl.  
Susie:  *sighs* picks up one toy
Mom:  Good job Susie...pick up the rest
Susie: *whines* no, mommy please I'm playing with them.  *starts making more mess*
Mom: Oh Susie, do you need mommy to help you?  *Mom starts cleaning up*
Susie hops back on couch and continues to watch TV as mom cleans up
Mom: Susie, you aren't helping mommy.  You won't get a cookie if you don't help Mommy.  
Susie: *crying* I don't want to help you.  I want to watch TV and play with my toys...*Crying*
Mom: No cookie then! 
Susie: picks up last toy (after mom picked up the rest)
Mom:  Good job Susie, thank you for helping, Let me get you a cookie for being a good girl.

Susie is an expert negotiator and Mom just bought the biggest lemon on the lot!  And believe me, this happens multiple times a day in different scenarios.  But Susie always wins.  What could have Mom done to make this situation end differently?  

It could and should have gone like this.

Mom: Susie, it's time to clean up your toys.  
Susie: After this show is over.
Mom: No, its time now (turn off TV).  And turn back on Susie - end of argument
Susie will probably throw a big fit and whine and cry, until she realizes Mom is not changing her mind and there's nothing to watch on TV.  

We as parents have somehow decided we aren't the boss anymore.  We are taking orders from our kids!!  I read a blog once about this concept.  3 simple words to quit nagging!  We are the parents and we would never allow another adult to run over us....we must stand up and be the boss!  No negotiations, period.  

*Give a direct command
*If they whine, give a direct statement (ask and answered or similar)
*Walk away
*Do NOT negotiate! - you aren't buying a car! 

Some folks may not agree with this....believe me, I've read tons of books on the subject of parenting, behavior modification, etc etc.  But I believe wholeheartedly that we must teach our children two things:

Self Control and Respect for Authority!

Let me know if you've seen a similar scenario play out?  Would you have handled it differently?