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Gentle Negotiation

Try some Gentle Negotiation


If some plan or some rule at home doesn’t feel right or fair to you, see if you have any room to do some 'Gentle Negotiation' with your parent or carer.


Step 1: Make sure you go to the adult with Solutions and Suggestions, don’t just go in saying I don’t like it. Ask them if you can chat about the plan or rule and see if you can agree on a few small changes that will work for both you and the adult.


Being part of the decision making process and figuring out what the plan or rule will be, can really help you feel more Involved and in Control, both of which feel pretty good.


My girls have really enjoyed making up their own ‘Getting Ready in the Morning’ rules, rewards (and even consequences). They love having a say in how things will happen. For example:


Over the weekend I offered for my girls to personalise the old ‘Routines Chart’ I had made. The girls found some google pictures and added them to the chart, the pics were to remind them to do little tasks in the morning before school, everything from cleaning their teeth, to packing their jumper. It definitely made it more fun and motivating for them.


Then I suggested we chat about the rules, rewards and consequences for the morning routines. I was amazed at how fabulously complicated (sounds like a contradiction, but actually they loved it and got very creative) things became. The girls came up with ideas and rules around…

  • What time to get ready by each day (so that we weren’t rushing out the door and they had time to read/relax before school)

    • they tick off each activity on their chart and record times

    • if they made it before time was up, they could earn ‘spare time’

    • limit that they could only use 5 mins extra ‘spare’ time per day

  • Making sure there were both Immediate Rewards

    • ticking the boxes when the task was done, and

    • tallying up the spare time

  • And Long Term Rewards

    • Initially surprise gift/treat after 1 full week of making it on time ie. All 5 days on time

    • weekly screen time earnt, and

    • opportunity to convert ‘spare time earnt’ into cash once per month

    • even discussing that it might be good to save some ‘spare time’, so they have extra to use at the start of a new month if need it, max 20 min

    • also if they earn 60 min ‘spare time’, it becomes a bonus and can be  converted to 1 hour = $1

    • each day they make it on time also counts as 5 minutes screen time & if they make all 5 days on time, they earn 30 min screen time that week


I was amazed at how detailed and specific they made it.