Negotiation Is Important
Sometimes I say things that go completely against the grain.
This might be one of those things that might be different from what you’ve learned.
But I’m going to say it.
Negotiation with your teen IS IMPORTANT!
There’s some advice out there telling parents to stop negotiating with their teens. Saying, things like, “You’re the parent. Your teen needs
to do what you say.”
The problem is, even though you are the parent, that doesn’t mean that you control your teen.
They are in control of themselves.
And if you lucky like me, your teen is nice enough to live by your rules and give you a certain degree of control, even they they could take it away in an instant.
After years of working with teens. one thing I’ve learned is that if you try to control too much of their life, they will take back control, sometimes very drastically.
This is why negotiation is so important.
Negotiation is respecting the fact that neither one of you controls the other and making an effort to agree on something that supports the values of both parties.
If you are raising a teenager, I highly recommend that you start mastering the art of negotiating with your teenager.
The Risks of Not Negotiating With Your Teen
First off, I want to be 100% honest and say that there are some things that are NON-NEGOTIABLE with my teen.
These are things that I’m not willing to budge on.
It’s okay to have non-negotiables.
Take some time to get to know what those are for you, but everything shouldn’t be a non-negotiable, or no one will ever want to negotiate with you.
There’s someone in my life that anytime we wanted to go out to eat with her, you had to go to one of the places that she wanted to go to or she’d refuse to go or complain the whole time.
She would never negotiate. It was always here way or the highway.
I hate to say it, but we rarely go out to eat with her because of her unwillingness to negotiate.
If you refuse to negotiate with your teen, you run the risk of them being unwilling to involve you in their life.
You run the risk of them deciding to completely go against your decision and doing what they wanted all along.
If you control too many things in your teen’s life, you run the risk of them taking control via drastic measures like running away, blatantly breaking rules, self-harming, and even suicide.
Negotiating Will Help You Build Stronger Relationships
Now that we got the downer side out of the way, there are also some serious benefits to negotiating with your teen.
Here are a few of the benefits that I was able to think of:
- Negotiating builds stronger relationships.
- It models powerful communication.
- It models how to understand your values and the values of others.
- It teaches your teen how to put themselves in the shoes of others.
- Negotiating helps you and your teen come up with better solutions.
- It promotes buy in and ownership.
- Now one likes to be steamrolled.
I seriously believe that better negotiation has the power to improve relationships.
I’ve seen it improve communication in my own home and how the systems within our home flow with my own children, and especially with our foster children.
You might not be great at negotiating with your teen because you never saw the example of negotiation with your parents.
Often when I teach this to parents, they tell me, “I wish my parents would have done this with me more.
When it comes to parent/teen negotiations, one of the most common problems that I see is simply an unwillingness to negotiate.
I often hear parents say that their teen is the one who is unwilling to negotiate.
As a parent myself, I understand that my teen just wants his way. I get it. So, I take it upon myself to find ways to negotiate whenever possible.
This is an area where, if your teen is unwilling to negotiate, I’d invite you to be the change you want to see. Find a way for YOU to negotiate.
Tips for How To Improve Your Negotiation
- Respect your teen and their values
- Know your values and your non-negotiables
- Get your teen’s input
- Voice your input
- Explore options with your teen
Join me and my family on a service trip to Mexico!
If you’re tired of getting your kids stuff for Christmas that doesn’t last, come join me and my family on a service trip to Mexico.
If you want to give the gift of life long memories to your teens and your family, come join us.