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Compromise – It’s a Two Way Street

September 18th, 2012 - Category: General Parenting

Sometimes, in the realm of parenthood, the word compromise is thought of as a “bad” word.   The notion of relenting power to your child gives parents the idea of surrender and defeat.  Compromise doesn’t have to be all bad.  In fact, the very definition of compromise, is that everyone gets a little of what they want, not so everyone is upset, but so everyone is happy.

Children require our protection and guidance.  We can’t always come up with a perfect solution, but we can usually come up with a better solution, when we compromise.  When you are picking your battles here are some ideas to think about.

Offer them acceptable choices.  If your child’s idea of getting dressed is galoshes and a hero cape over last week’s pajamas, try having several acceptable choices set out that they can choose from.  Then they  have some control over what they are wearing, but it is still acceptable to you.  Depending on the events of the day, “Super PJ Man” may be suitable, but if not, giving them choices should alleviate some arguing.

Wait till later.  Sometimes you don’t have to say “no”, you just have to say “later”.  Their request to play video games doesn’t have to be turned down, just put off until after they finish their chores.

Not the whole thing.  You want them to eat their peas, but maybe a bite for every year of their age, or separating out a smaller amount for them to eat, would be more tolerable.

Specifics set beforehand.  Whether they can only have sleepovers on Fridays, or only eat the snacks in the yellow bin after school, or no friends until homework and chores are done, setting specifics beforehand helps to alleviate confrontations.  If something comes up and you need to compromise, then they have to be willing to give something up as well.  Setting chores up on MyJobChart.com is one way to set up your chores and not have to argue about them again.

Half and half.  They want to go to the skate park and you need to go shopping.  If you can’t divide and conquer, then spending half the day doing both may work for you.

It’s a family tradition.  There are some things that even you can’t change.  Let them know that it is just the way it is.  There is no need to complain, or whine, or try to get out of it, because it won’t make a difference.  Blame it on tradition if you need a scapegoat.

Some other strategies may include, reverse psychology, or just talking it over and trying to get them to understand your point of view and you trying to understand their point of view.  Every kid is different and every situation is different.  Compromise is an opportunity to give and take.  Remember if you want them to give, it helps if you give a little too.

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