Over the weekend, I asked Brooks to go upstairs, shower and get ready for bed, then he could open some gifts he received. (He’d been begging to open them for hours, but we were trying to get the house in order, clean up, etc from a busy weekend at home but never at home).
About 2 minutes later, he comes upstairs to my room and says, “Mom, can I open one of my presents now and then right away I’ll go take a shower? I’ll be really fast and hang my towel and get pjs on.”
Normally, my answer is no when my kids push back on something they are asked to do. I don’t like to have gray area where they think that every time they whine or ask me to change my mind, I’m going to do it. That’s a slippery slope that’s hard to recover from.
But the way he came up and almost presented it as a business option made me smile inside. (Gosh, this boy is just like his papa – a master negotiator.)
I said yes and the reason I did is because I want him to recognize when he chooses to take a little risk in a negotiation, sometimes it will pay off. Especially when he approaches it the way that he did – a reasonable compromise and a win-win for both of us. (He did in fact, take a quick shower, hang his towel and get PJs on right after he opened the gift.)
I also want him to experience WINS. I feel like I can often come across as a NO mom.
Can I bring all my pokemon cards to the grocery store? No.
Can I have a piece of candy tonight? No.
Can I play outside after we come back from dinner? No.
I want to have my kids feel like they win, too. That if they approach things reasonably (without crazy whining and complaining), they may be able to argue their case. I don’t want to turn my kids into little Gingers because I like them better as one-of-a-kind Brooksies (or Landons).
I’m trying to do a better job saying yes. And letting them figure out what approaches result in success in our house.