It’s time for a listener question.
“What do you think about negotiating with a 16 year-old-son? It feels like I’m giving in when I do.”
Negotiating is not the same thing as “giving in.”
Negotiating is fine. The key is for the parent to set the parameters for the negotiation. It’s possible the young man has some good input.
The difficulty comes when the parent allows the negotiation to become manipulation.
If at any time it is determined that the discussion has become manipulation, then the parent simply tells the teenager the conversation isn’t going to continue at this time. Let him know why and that it can resume when it is once again negotiation.
The ultimate decision a parent makes on an issue needs to be based on adequate information.
Manipulation brings feelings to the surface, many times blocking necessary, relevant information.
Negotiation is potentially positive.
Learning how to successfully negotiate can help the teenager develop the ability to articulate his thoughts. Another benefit occurs when a decision is reached. The teenager will share ownership and responsibility.
Parents, don’t be afraid to have an adult negotiation with your teenager. It has the possibility to reap great benefits as long as it is negotiation and not manipulation.