Executive Vice President, Home Operations

Never Negotiate With Terrorist Toddlers

Excuse me – that should be ‘Terrorists OR Toddlers.’  I would never refer to my child as a terrorist… ahem.

I know, I know. I should offer two acceptable choices to let him feel some power. I read that book too.

But honestly, more often than not dinner has become a game of let’s make a deal. Sure, it bothers me. Dinnertime is often a low point in the day when negotiations break down and we both end up hungry, tired and crying wishing we could skip all this and just have a cookie.

But perhaps I’m looking at this all wrong. Maybe we are teaching him fabulous negotiating skills that could save us tens of thousands of dollars on a useless business degree someday.

For example, yesterday Associate P saw an opportunity and he maximized it. I had been praising him since he woke up from his nap and he decided to cash in the deal that I offered earlier, “If you nap, we can go to the Library when you wake up.” As we were getting ready to leave he heard me tell the CEO that we’d be back right at dinner time so would probably just do quesadillas.

Flash forward one hour to the drive home. We pass by Surfi’n Turtle Ice Cream Shop and Associate P casually mentions, “We haven’t had ice cream in a while.” I respond in the typical bribing way any good mother would, “Well if you eat all your dinner tonight, maybe we can have some!”

He screams excitedly “YOU’VE GOT A DEAL” This is an unusual response in our normal negotiations so I probe to see the extent with which I got worked.  “So are you hungry for dinner tonight?” “Yes mommy! I love quesadillas. They are my favorite. And ice cream too. I LOVE ice cream!”

yup. he knew what he was doing and the kid ate until his tummy hurt last tonight. He deserved it. Well played son.  Well played.

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