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How to Negotiate Without Busting Out the Bribes

Do you ever feel like a broken record every day, asking your kids to do the same things without getting any results? And then you scream because no one is listening to you and your spouse makes some insulting comment about how you can’t parent. It’s frustrating beyond belief.

The good news is that you can change all that by changing your tune. Here’s what you can do to end this vicious cycle once and for all.

Choose your choice

The first step is choosing not to let this behavior get your goat. So even if the kids won’t listen to your polite requests because they think it gives them power, YOU still have the power if you choose not to change your mood over it.

Run parallel

Do you want to bash your head into your child’s like a football player? No, of course you don’t. So when you’re handling a defiant child, run parallel instead. Get to the root of what’s causing them to hesitate, and do so without being critical or judgmental.

Don’t react

It’s perfectly fine to have feelings. However, instead of letting them control your reactions, don’t let the two mix. If you want your child to change her behavior, you need to change your reaction.

Bribes are out but incentives are in

Bribing is never a good idea. But incentives are different. They can serve as a big motivator to evoke the desired behavior from your child. For example, tell her if she keeps her room clean all week, you’ll take her out to do something she wants to do.

Praise proper responses

When your child does the things you’ve asked to be done, make sure you praise that behavior specifically. Don’t just leave it at “Good job!” Make sure you elaborate on what was so good about the behavior. Thank her for it too. Her mood will change and you’ll notice a distinctive shift in her behavior. Plus, she’ll be that much more likely to keep doing the things you want her to do if it earns her positive praise and feedback.

Negotiating with your child without bribing does take a little practice, but once you master it, you’ll come home to less negative behavior. Plus, your child will have the added bonus of learning to be more self-reliant as well as motivated, which are great skills to have in life.

Above all, be patient during this process. It’s a learning opportunity for you and your child and it won’t magically change overnight. When things get frustrating, never let them see you sweat. Stick to your guns and you’ll see things getting better soon!

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