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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Preschool Pointers - 12: Make a Deal


You've got more than one kid and they fight over silly things, like who gets to be a princess, which video they want to watch or whether or not the lights are off. Or you only have one kid, and she's constantly trying to fight you over rules or what have you.


Start using compromises. At first, I would just throw my hands up and say, "work it out. Don't come back to me until you've worked it out." But the girls need a little more direction than that.

So now, if one wants to play the piano and the other wants to sing and they absolutely cannot do them at the same time, I try to keep them calm, and ask them to propose deals to each other. One will think about it and say, "Okay, here is my deal: You can play piano first if I can be a princess while you play." Then the other can say yes or no. If no, that one needs to come up with a counter-deal. And we will do this until someone says okay. Or (because how often does that happen? Once out of five times, maybe), they get neither of those things. Usually, in about 30 minutes, after I've cruelly denied them everything they've ever wanted, one of them will randomly decide the other can go first and just announce it. Then we move on.

If they're arguing with you, you can make a deal with them. The difference is that what you say goes. They get the chance to calmly state their case if they can, and depending on how well they carry out that task, you can amend your deal or not. Your kids will figure out their boundaries (slooooooowly), and they'll learn important communication skills.


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