My 4yr olds response when Mommy answered his “When are we leaving” question for the tenth time.
Now, he just cuts straight to the chase and asks, “How many Soons until we leave?”
The anticipations and sense of time of a child is an amazing thing. My dad once taught me that children were the best negotiators. They have what it takes. Will and TIME. These fluttering minds bouncing from thought to thought and subject to subject often seem chaotic and with no attention span, but don’t be fooled. Once locked in, the child’s mind has deadly laser focus and devastating power of deployment. Once they set their mind to the negotiation, they have nothing but time on their side and constant will. You can say “no” ten thousand times yet a child only sees an opportunity to restate or re-purpose their request once again.
Here is where parent’s steely resolve is tested. Remember, if you say no 10,000 times and cave to the child’s request on the 10,001st time. You have only taught them that they have to ask 10,001 times, and that certainly is no problem for them.
Ultimately we parents will lose to these negotiation masters, but hopefully will hold fast when it comes to the critical battles that teach our children character and truth about our world. Allowing them enough success for good self esteem without allowing them to run a foul without any sense of boundary or rule.
I personally want my children to push boundaries and bend the rules, but they have to firmly know the boundaries and rules as well as the consequences before this can be successfully done.
Now… I have to stop this post. The 7yr old has asked to use the computer 20 times since I started typing and I cant hold out any further.