7 Ways your Toddler is a Better Negotiator Than You
Having frequently been outwitted by my toddler after years of experience working in industrial relations, I began to wonder if I really had been that bad at my job. I make all the classic mistakes. I talk first, I make too many offers, and I chase him for a deal... but how am I making these rookie mistakes? My toddler is a superior negotiator, and here is how he does it:
An unmoving stance, feet apart, arms folded, chin jutting out. He is prepared for battle while I am still trying to find the car keys.
Oh he can wait. He can wait all day. And all night if need be. He has the time. And be sure, he will.
Of course you have to say no to a toddler, consistency is essential, but sometimes I get tired of saying no all the time. And by all the time, I am talking of a frequency of about every five seconds. This method has been tried and tested for success.
There is a special gift that toddlers possess to find the perfect pitch at which to whine, it’s high but not too high, includes most of the musical scale and gets louder and louder as it progresses.
5. Threat of impending tantrum
Your eyes lock over the most coveted toy - it was love at first sight. You both know what’s going to happen if you try move on without putting it in the trolley. Do you want to risk it?
6. Strategic timing
This method is reserved for when you are late, rushing, it’s raining; your phone is ringing etc. This is especially effective as you have no time to explain, convince, distract and are very much on the back foot. Your priorities are not on how many biscuits are needed for the car journey, but on how to get into the car on time, a genius strategy flawless in execution.
7. Excellent (if selective) memory
No memory of going to the toilet on the potty for the last two weeks, but there is that one shop that you had an ice cream in six weeks ago that you can recall clear as day.
Commitment to the cause underpins all of the above, they will literally lie themselves down in a car park for a lollipop. As I wipe the sweat off my brow, I do think that it takes guts on their part. I can only hope that the strength of character that he has shown will stand to him later in life.
My advice is to ride out the storm with as much consistency as possible. But don’t be too hard on yourself if you give in at the checkout with a queue of a million perfect parents staring unhelpfully. It will pass. Eventually. The toddler phase I mean, not the perfect parents, they unfortunately are there forever.