It’s beneficial to have negotiation skills in life and we use these skills every single day, whether it is subconsciously or consciously. Negotiation is used to establish jurisdiction and boundaries, and we use it to share resources with others in the form of give and take.
If you believe your kids are at an age that is mature enough to understand certain information, you can teach your kids soft negotiation skills that can help them as they develop personal relationships and work with their peers. The more they believe in their decision making and negotiation skills, the more confident they will become as they grow into young adults. As parents and first teachers to our little ones, we can get them started with some light negotiation skills by practicing some actions at home.
It’s Open for Negotiation
When your kids ask you for materialistic items or if they want to experience something such as going on a camping trip or slumber party, say ‘it’s open for negotiation’, and allow them to come up with an idea with regards to what they can do for you in return. They may come up with chores they can do or some volunteering they can do in your community, or they may promise to practice better manners at the dinner table. Allow them to come up with the negotiation terms and agree on it only when you believe it sounds fair.
Create Situations for Negotiation
Every day, we are presented with situations of negotiation, but kids need a little help to understand what exactly they are doing when it happens to them. A good example is sharing at school. We know it is highly recommended that all kids learn to share at an early age as it decreases the amount of negative energy and chance of arguments among children, in and outside the classroom. If you are with your child at the park and he or she is sitting near another child, you can encourage him or her to share. If he or she wants something they are playing with, teach him or her to offer something in return for their item.
Give Them the Chance to Resolve Their Problems
When problems arise among kids, they tend to try to get their parent to intervene by tattling or complaining. Next time something happens where you feel like you must jump in, let them be. Ask your child how they think they can turn the situation around and make it happier for everyone involved. They may stare at you blankly the first time you turn the problem solving back to them, but with a little practice, they will learn the art of negotiation along the way.
Mistakes are a Part of Life
Teach your children that to be a good negotiator, they will make mistakes and they may fail every now and then. The sooner children accept that mistakes are a part of the lifelong process of learning; the sooner they will learn how to let things roll off their back and move onto something different.
Confidence Building is Key
The best negotiators in the world are confident in everything they do. If they fail, they move on quickly and effectively so they can enjoy the next challenge. Praise your child when they accomplish things at home or at school, even if the accomplishment seems tiny. The more they feel encouraged, the more they will be able to negotiate with confidence and with a strong belief in their decision making skills.
How do you teach your children negotiation skills?