The art of compromise is by large considered a positive one to master. Compromising, in general, is usually smiled upon, but what about when your toddler is red-faced and flailing about mid-tantrum? Some have argued in the past that a toddler doesn't have the logic to bargain; personally I'd beg to differ. For example, this very evening my toddler and I were going rounds over a potty training cookie reward that I did not wish to bestow at bed time. Rather than tantruming, he first attempted to receive half a cookie, and then to also get one for his brother because, "good boys share." When both tactics failed he presented a compromise. He asked if he could have his reward now, set it by his bed, and not eat it until morning. Regardless of the fact that he ate said cookie within five minutes of receiving it, the above demonstrates some rather keen logic in my opinion. So, having settled that toddler can indeed comprehend compromise and negotiation, we then have to ask, is it a good idea to compromise with a toddler?
Why compromising with toddlers could be bad
The biggest issue with comprising with a toddler is the same as giving into a toddler tantrum. Your toddler may not see it as a give and take situation where you both didn't get exactly what you wanted, and may instead see simply that he or she got what they wanted. This could result in an increased rate of tantrums and a blurred view of authority.
Why compromising with toddlers could be good
On the other side of the argument, compromise is indeed a positive life skill, and one your child will unquestionably need. Being willing to consider your child's wishes and wants also shows your toddler that you care and can help foster a stronger sense of independence.
Compromising on comprise with toddlers
So how then can you get the best of both sides? Compromise should only be applicable in the toddler world if not in reaction to a tantrum. Your willingness to consider a compromise when a tantrum is not involved rewards the maturity displayed by not throwing a fit, while at the same time cashes in on the pros of compromise and dodging the cons. It really is a win-win. Be wary, however, of offering compromise too often. Be sure to stick to your guns on the issues that really matter to you. It's OK to show your child that you can respect others and come to a mutual agreement, but it's not OK to give them the idea you aren't the boss.
Do you compromise with your kids?
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