In our modern society, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to raise a child. There is so much outside pressure that you have to navigate, there are so many theories, so many ways, so many specialists. You have to be assertive, you have to do this, you have to be that… It’s becoming a maze and much more difficult than it should be. And this is why I am here to tell you it does not have to be this way. So many generations have been brought up without all of this fuss. It’s not getting harder to raise children, it’s simply seems that way because of all the voices shouting around you. Stop listening to all the useless chatter and be confident in what you know. The first thing you should always remember is that you should raise your children the way you want to, without wondering about being politically correct or appropriate.
And my second and only other advice is to teach your children that life is a negotiation. This is a problem that almost all adults have today, they do not understand negotiation, they do not accept it. And the accepting part is far more important than the understanding. Most people understand that they have to give something in order to receive another thing, but they don’t truly accept that and search for ways to circumvent it. This is the problem that we should work to fix in our children. We have to make them understand that it is normal to negotiate and that there is no other way to get stuff. No other way!
Being a part of a family should not make you feel entitled to receive things without giving back. Every single relationship you will have over the course of your life will be a negotiation, and you have to embrace that and be happy about it. It’s the best way you can cope and the best preparation for life you can give your child. It’s normal to give up one desire in order to get something in return. Teach your children that and you will make them so much more powerful and so much more adapted to the world they are living in.
And here is how you make them understand what negotiation is. I will illustrate it with a simple example. Let’s say that a child has 100 desires. As it is now, the parents hear the 100 desires and come to the conclusion that let’s say 80 of them are doable and 20 are impossible. So they go right ahead and fulfill the 80 desires while on the other hand explaining to the child that the other 20 are impossible. Everybody is happy, everybody is at peace and unfortunately, nobody has learned anything.
Here is how it should be done. Your child comes to you with 100 desires. You know you can fulfill 80. So you make a simple chart:
First 20 desires – Easy and simple to fulfill desires – you ask for nothing in return from the child, and make it clear to him that you are fulfilling them because you love him and that is what family does.
The next 40 desires – A little bit more complicated desires – you ask for something in return, small things, to teach the child that he should also offer something if he wants more than the basics. For example, yes, he is a allowed to go to an all-night party, but first he should wash the dishes and take out the trash.
The last 20 doable desires – These are the most complex – you should ask the child for similar hard tasks, because this is how you teach him to let go of things, this is where the art of negotiation comes into fruition. People have no idea how to let go, so by asking him to do hard things in return for giving him what he wants, he will understand that maybe some of his desires are not so important. When you have to get straight A’s for one year in order to get the last IPhone you realize that maybe you don’t really need that stupid new phone at all.
The 20 impossible desires – These are simple to manage, and you have to explain to your child that these are the red lines in the sand, and they cannot be negotiated in any form, and that he is also allowed to have red lines and that negotiation should happen only between them.
Do this and you will find that your child will learn and adapt and your relationship with him will become natural. And you can apply the same system with everybody else. Teach your family, your boss, your soul mate, teach them all that if they want things from you, they should offer something in return. And then, whenever you want something, simply make them an offer they can’t refuse…