The Art of Negotiation.
This is an art form that we as parents are constantly trying to master, right? I think we all learn early on that sometimes you must choose your battles. I think the smart ones also know when you can “negotiate” to get what you want from your child. This is a common practice, I feel, for those of us in the special needs community. We must often make sacrifices and put certain principalities aside just to get the desired goal.
It is not uncommon for us to barter or negotiate our way to the finish line either. Show of hands… how many of us out there have negotiated something with our special needs kiddo that we would have perhaps taken a hard line on with our typical one? My hand is raised. In fact, I have both hands and my feet in the air.
There have been countless times where I have negotiated my way to the desired end result. With these kiddos you have to. You have to be much more diplomatic in your efforts and operations. So you find ways around that hard line to get them to do what you want or what you want out of them. Its clever or better yet, flexible parenting!
I had such an occurrence take place tonight in fact! I had the kids out for a walk along a creek trail and on the way back, Dominic was talking about sleeping in (something he does NOT do). He was trying to practice his negotiation skills with me to get a video game in exchange for sleeping in. Um…. no. As much as I would love for him to sleep in some. That is not video worthy. Not for me. So, I told him as much and talks stopped there pretty much.
Dominic and Michela at the trail
I happened to mention that I wanted a bike for the trail. Not sure who initiated it, but before I knew it, my biggest bargaining chip for one of my greatest dreams just happened to fall in my lap. Gotta love those gifts from above!! Before I knew it, the deal on the table was a WII video game in exchange for a bike and Dominic riding said bike. Again, not sure how this wound up on the table, but I capitalized on his desire for this game and went in to close the deal. He has not been on a bike in at least 2 years, maybe more. So now, he is willing to do this for a game? Um, this is a no brainer. I get: my son on a bike, my son developing more, my son exercising, an opportunity to do something regularly with BOTH kids and all I have to do (aside from getting the bike) is get him a WII game? Done and Done!
In fact, as I am typing this, he is on the computer watching Spongebob and blurts out to me… “when are we getting a bike?” At that moment, the skies opened and his light shone throw. All I can say is… lord baby Jesus or as our brothers to the south call you, HEY ZEUS, we thank you so much for this bountiful harvest for which you have bestowed upon me this day (Talladega Nights reference).
Needless to say, I have a new item for my to do list this week. We gon get a bike!! While I do not claim to be a master of this art, I will definitely fake the funk and own this one!!!