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.
So Many Parenting Gurus Focus on DOING
Recently I joined a new program to teach me some business tools to help me better help you, and in this program I’ve met some new friends who are also parenting coaches.
I wanted to get to know some of these these coaches, so obviously I digitally stalked them.
I was surprised by how much of what they teach is focused on what to DO as a parent so your kids will do what’s “right.”
So much of their focus is on DOING parenting a certain way.
And, they have examples of DOING these specific parenting techniques and the parent’s kids just completely changing.
While I’m happy for the parents experiencing success, I do feel that this approach of DOING is incomplete and more of a band-aid and temporary fix.
I do not believe that there is a RIGHT or WRONG way to parent!
I do not believe that the goal of parenting is to get your teenager to do the “right” things.
I believe that there is so much more to parenting.
When you shift for focus from what you are DOING as a parent, you will be able to put all that energy into BEING the parent of your dreams.
The BE-Do-Have Model
I teach this all the time in my coaching programs, and I’ve talked about it on podcasts, but I’ve never dedicated a podcast to the BE-Do-Have model.
So, this is long overdue, but none the less, here it is.
The BE-Do-Have Model.
I learned this from my coach, Jim Fortin.
The model is meant to help you shift your focus from what you DO or what you do or don’t HAVE to your ways of BEING.
Here’s one of my favorite examples, and one that I’ve experienced over and over.
When people want to lose weight, they typically shift their focus to some sort of DOING.
For example, “I’m going to DO this new exercise program.” Or, “I’m going to DO this new diet.”
They think that by DOING these things, they will then HAVE their goal of weight loss or 6 pack abs or something.
The problem is . . .
. . . And think about this. How many times have you seen this exact thing happen? Possibly in your own life . . .
. . . The problem is, after doing the diet and the exercise, and after having the weight loss, how many times do you see the person go right back to their old ways of BEING.
I’ve done this a hundred times.
I DO the diet and the exercise for a few months.
Then, I HAVE the weight loss.
And, to celebrate I go right back to my old ways of BEING and eat junk food.
If you don’t start with your ways of BEING, you’ll always revert back to your old ways of BEING.
Another example that I often see with dads is working from the Have-Do-Be model.
They try to work it backwards.
They think “If I HAD more money or more time, then I’d DO a family vacation, then I’d BE a good dad.
The problem is that they are focusing on something other than themselves to make them a good dad.
Start catching yourself working from anything other than the Be-Do-Have model, and start asking your self this question:
“Who do I need to BE, to DO the thing I need to do, to HAVE what I want to have?”
Who Do YOU Want To BE?
One of the things that I see most often that makes parents unhappy is that they don’t like who they’ve become as a parent.
They’ll often say things like, “How did I turn into my mom?” Or, “How did I get this way?”
The truth is, you got this way because this has become your subconscious way of BEING.
This is who you’ve allowed yourself to become.
I often do an exercise with parents, and I want to take a minute and do it with you.
Think back to a time when you thought something like:
- “When I’m a parent, I’m going to . . . _____”
- “When I’m a parent, I’m never going to . . . _____”
- “When I’m a parent, I’m going to BE . . . _____”
If you’re like me, these thoughts might have come when you were in trouble and unhappy with your parents.
But, I’m guessing that there was a time when you had clarity in who you wanted to BE as a parent.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to BE as a parent.
The most important thing is to KNOW who YOU want to BE and to practice that way of BEING.
The Common Mistake
The common mistake that I see parents make, and some of my new parenting coaches and experts promoting, is to focus on DOING parenting “right” so your kids will change.
I promise you, the most powerful thing you can do if you want your teen to change, is to BE The Change You Want To See!
Stop trying to DO all the right things so your teen will change.
Instead, focus on BEING the parent that you’ve always wanted to be.
Join The BE The Change Challenge!
The BE The Change Challenge is now open!
If you want a happier home, this challenge is for you.
If you are disappointed in who you’ve become as a parent, this challenge will help you finally make the change you’ve been looking for.
Join the challenge today!
Best Mom Ever Summit
On this episode I talk with Allison about the Best Mom Ever virtual summit she is hosting.
It is all about helping parents create the relationship they dream of with their teenagers.
We’re not trying to improve parents. Parents are doing their best. Doing your best is good enough.
We want to help parents embrace Growth instead of being fixed as a parent.
It’s good for our kids to see our imperfections. They aren’t perfect, and neither are we as parents.
Come Learn how to Grow Yourself! And learn how to connect and have the kind of relationship you want with your teen.
Click the link below to sign up.
Best Mom Ever Summit – Sign up Here!