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Do your children constantly negotiate with you? Does it give you the feeling that you are giving arguments left and right because they have to discuss everything at all hours?
It is very normal for our children to try to refute, discuss and argue everything you say, especially as they grow older, when they acquire skills and give us a daily pulse. Nevertheless, We suggest that you stop arguing with your child, it does not work, and you better resort to these strategies for astute parents.
Parenting is like groundhog day, every day there is a new discussion to face and a new pulse to overcome. This is just an example of a common discussion in our homes:
- Can I go to Pedrito's house?
- How are you going to go to Pedrito's house if you have homework, you know that on school days there are no worthwhile plans.
- I'll go a little while and do them later. Come on, please, please ...
- Do you remember the last time? Then you were tired and I ended up doing your homework. That noooooo.
- Not this time, I swear, I'm going to do them super well.
- What if you don't? What do we do? You say that now but then you will be tired and you cannot afford not to push in the studies. You have to be responsible. Obligation first, then devotion.
- And if I do an exercise, I go to Pedrito's house and then finish the rest?
- I don't trust anything.
- Yes, mom, you'll see.
The dialogue could go on forever, because at no time the mother is firm and blunt: "You are not going to Pedrito's house and there is no possible discussion." You don't give any more arguments or explanations. No means no. Sometimes arguing means entering an endless spiral that the only thing that will achieve is to unhinge you. Ultimately, arguing with your child does not work, is not it better to use cunning and intelligence? We carry a few kilometers more than our children, let's prove it.
We start from the basis that we know that it is positive for the child to try to question authority, to not settle, to try to push the limits and even to gain negotiation skills, but that does not mean that we have to tolerate it. Surely you have realized that arguing with children does not work, therefore, it is time to apply these strategies for astute parents:
1- Choose your battles well: Maybe something that affects the child's safety, well-being or academic results is worth discussing, but is it worth discussing even the smallest detail? Try to analyze one day of your lives and think about all the times you argued. Now of all of them choose only one or two for which it is worth insisting. And the rest, let them pass ... Try not to argue about not making the bed and let him lie down on a wrinkled bed and discard. Try not to argue because the floor is full of toys and that he is the one who deals with an impractical room.
2- Create consequences that surprise you. Instead of spouting a string of reproaches and scolding throughout the house while you pick up the backpack thrown in the middle of the room. Change your strategy. Take the backpack and store it in a closet. When you come for her to do her homework and you can't find it, calmly and disinterestedly tell her: "Isn't she in her place?" Let him search for a few minutes and even get a little overwhelmed. Now that you have your child's attention, take out the backpack and tell him that the backpack was not in its place and that next time there will be worse consequences (do not specify which at that time).
3- Make small deals: We do not show weakness or lack of firmness by negotiating from time to time. We are not to placate the child until we make him a submissive person. Let's leave a little space to make a deal with him.
4- Avoid power struggles: the effort to control a child who tries to impose his power in front of the parents often leads to a dead end in which there is no victory for anyone. Parents end up yelling and punishing and children enraged. You already know that two don't fight if one doesn't want to, so get out of the equation. Make a firm commitment to yourself not to get involved in futile discussions, in endless arguments and lengthy explanations. State your expectations clearly, firmly, and then walk away.
5- Don't lose control: Losing patience, screaming and ending up saying hurtful phrases that we really don't think does nothing more than take out our frustration and then get more frustrated for not having done it well. Save the anger, stop, think, do not react impulsively. Explain to the child in a short and simple way what will happen if they don't cooperate and walk away. There's nothing more to speak of.
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