Negotiating With An 8-Year-Old

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Ellie likes to play “Truth Or Dare” with me – and also Jake when he’s in the mood.

No, don’t look at me like that! It’s a child-friendly version, OK?! Although the ‘Truth’ options can be a little ’embarassing’ sometimes. It’s possible that I’ve had to be, shall we say, “economical with the truth” once or twice.

She’d chosen “Dare” on this occasion, and I think it’s fair to say that she wasn’t too happy with the outcome: “Wear a sign on your back that says “Kick Me” for the rest of the day”.

Negotiations ensued. I started using the word “Forfeit”. She began panicking. It’s amazing how competitive 8-year-olds can be! She eventually agreed to wear it, but just for the duration of the game.  For the sake of peace and a quiet(ish) life I agreed.

When Jake heard what was happening he immediately stopped what he was doing. This is a thing unheard of, as it usually involves a screen of some kind which seems to turn on a Star Trek grade tractor beam whenever he looks at it. No, he was very excited about this, and set about enthusiastically making the sign especially, just for his twin sister. What a loving, helpful boy he is!

By the way,  I coloured it in. Yes, thank you; I thought so too!

Probably as a result of Jake’s involvement, Ellie was having further doubts! She insisted on my also wearing the sign on my back, which she very helpfully made for me. By this time I’d given up, and just wanted to get on with the game.

Anyway I was winning! I can’t think where they get that competitive streak from….

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Something immediately struck me about her sign. She’d added “Please”! So polite!

I wore my sign. Did hers stay on for the rest of the game? Guess!

And the moral of the story? When you negotiate with an 8-year-old don’t expect the deal to stick, but at least when she breaks it you can expect her to be polite about it!

Shank You Very Much

 

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