How to negotiate with adolescent children: 5 fundamental keys
Adolescence is the stage of life in which rebellion prevails. The rapid hormonal changes, the tireless search for one's identity and the frequent frustrations that these situations of rapid change entail they make that, very often, the adolescents tend not to assume commitments and act always on their own .
This means that, if you want to find a certain balance in your domestic and family daily life, negotiating with these teenagers is a very necessary thing. However, this is not an easy task and, often, trying to reach an agreement can generate even more conflicts and anxiety. But it is not impossible mission.
Reaching agreements and agreements with teenagers
The first thing that we must take into account before approaching a negotiation is that this is a long-term project that demands continuous efforts. To believe that having reached a pact has already succeeded in getting the adolescent into the dynamic of reaching agreements and fulfilling his word is to ignore the functioning of people's behavior: the actions must be converted into habits so that they last and appear spontaneously with hardly any effort.
That means that all the effort and effort that we saved when the adolescents have already assimilated the negotiations should be invested at the beginning of this process, to remove it little by little.
So let's start with the keys to negotiate with adolescents and young people in the stage of puberty .
1. Making the teenager look for negotiation
Parents and guardians of adolescents have a lot of power over the things that happen in their lives, and making use of them to improve the degree to which they can accept negotiation situations is totally legitimate.
That means that, if at the beginning these young people do not want to negotiate, we must not force the appearance of pacts , because the agreements that we can reach are going to be fictitious: they will only exist in our imagination.
So that, in the face of the refusal to take the first steps to accept a negotiation process, it is necessary to act accordingly with the adolescent's attitude and make the position itself inflexible. That means, simply, that you we will set standards unilaterally .
Ultimately, if a teenager is not willing to assume a degree of freedom in which he can accept or reject options in a negotiation, then he must follow rules. The message here is that moving towards a greater degree of independence means accepting pacts as adults . Trading at any price is not an option.
But it is essential that these rules are those that in case of non-compliance we can enforce. If breaking them does not have consequences, it's as if the rules did not exist . That is why we must work on our own assertiveness.
2. Negotiate in an emotionally neutral situation
It is important that the first steps of the negotiation take place not in the midst of anger and tantrums, but when calm reigns. This will make the conditions of the other party not interpreted as attacks or provocations , and also help to detect those points that are not really willing to accept for their objective characteristics and those that are not accepted for what that would mean in the context of a discussion.
3. The sacred rule: always keep the word
Not doing what was previously said to be done is devastating for negotiations with adolescents, even if it only happens once . This applies both to those cases in which the adolescent keeps his word but we do not, as in cases in which it is the adolescent who breaks the agreement and the adult does not act accordingly.
After all, The value of the negotiations is based on trust and coherence . They serve for eliminate a degree of uncertainty about what will happen if the adolescent behaves in one way or another, and if they do not fulfill that function, they are not worth anything.
That is why it is necessary to comply with the facts that negotiations have a value and can be useful for both parents and teenagers.
4. Returning to previous stages
If we have a streak in which a teenager is willing to negotiate but when a point stops, it is important not to try to continue negotiating by force; As we have seen in point one, that will be like building a fiction in the air, and the pact will not take place.
So that, in these cases you have to do the same thing that has been said in point number one : do not negotiate and set standards unilaterally. It is convenient that the feeling of having made progress does not blind us or that we see this as a sign that all the previous negotiations have not served at all. Unlike, when comparing the return of unilateral rules with the agreements reached in the past, the second option is more attractive .
5.Know the interests of the adolescent
The best thing that can be done with negotiations is to make adapt to the needs and aspirations of the other party .
That means that the effectiveness of negotiation depends on the degree to which we adapt our options to the unique and individual characteristics of the person in front of us. In the case of negotiation with sons and daughters, fathers and mothers can get to make good use of knowledge about this person.