I Tried Negotiating With Kids Like Dutch Parents and It Worked

By Patrick A Coleman for fatherly.com

I never thought teaching my kids to negotiate was an important parental duty. Who wants kids making counter-offers on bedtime? Who wants kids leveraging competing allowance offers? My baseline assumption was that my kids should accept what they are given. My outside hope was that they might say thank you. Now, I’ve changed my mind and my life is more complicated.

I blame the Dutch.

Tonight, my two boys are in their own room, sleeping in a megabed (their two twin beds shoved together ). It’s bulky and dumb-looking and it makes their bedroom look weird and crowded. But the point is that they are sleeping. Moreover, they are not in my room, crowding my wife and me to the edges of our own bed.

I’d like to say I came to this solution through some brilliant stroke of genius, but I’m not that smart. We arrived at megabed through a negotiation process I kicked off after reading an article by Rina Mae Acosta, co-author of The Happiest Kids in the World: How Dutch Parents Help Their Kids (and Themselves) by Doing Less.

Read more here.

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