I Taught My Daugher to Negotiate — Now I Regret It…

Now everything is up for negotiation.

David Fox
2 min readJun 25, 2023
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

It seemed like a good idea at the time. All parents who have been through it know the terror of the “no!” stage, the frustration of a toddler who just won’t listen to what you say. So my good idea was to bypass it entirely. I instead of being strict at all times, I’d allow room for negotiation where it was reasonable.

“Time for bed,” I’d say.

“No,” would come the reply, “I’m playin’”.

So instead of getting into an argument where I would just repeat myself and we’d get into a dragged out bedtime that would make us both miserable, I decided to negotiate.

“OK, how about five more minutes playtime, then bedtime?”

She readily agreed (having no concept of how long five minutes is). I set a five minute timer just to be sure.

And hey, the timer went off and we went to bed. Since then the technique has worked…intermittently. Sometimes she will go to bed at the agreed time, but, well…she has learned how to negotiate.

And negotiate she does.

It’s become a regular occurance in our house since. My daughter will negotiate over her actual bedtime but also the number of books she will have read to her before…