I saw an article today about the art of negotiating with your children. I clicked through to read an article with such a title out of pure shock and horror. There were admonitions like ‘don’t bulldoze the conversation’, ‘don’t ask the impossible’, ‘Be clear and make your point and wait for a response’. All of this is great advice if you are talking to a reasonable person. Children are not reasonable people.
The definition of a terrorist is a person that engages in the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.
*vegetable chucked off the highchair table and onto the clean floor*
‘I’m going to run away!’
‘I hate you!” *door slams*
*refusal to eat homecooked meal followed by:* ‘Well I guess I’ll just starve then.’
All of the above are instances of the use of violence and intimidation. By children. By my children. Children are terrorists and I do not negotiate with terrorists.
This idea that I should treat my kids as though they are adults, but smaller, is completely asinine. They don’t think like adults. It takes like 25 years (35 if you’re male) for your brain to develop all the skills to think a situation through and come to some reasonable course of action. I mean that. I was an idiot for a long long time. Kids are impulsive and selfish. They want what they want right damn now. Consequences? What consequences?? Just like terrorists. They want what they want and they will blow shit, including themselves, up to get it.
I’m not going to let my kids blow themselves up. Either figuratively or literally. If they don’t like what I cooked for dinner then they don’t eat. Rama is not a short order cook and I don’t intentionally cook things that they don’t like. They ate it last week they can eat it this week. They are both going to pick up after themselves. I’m not having a couple of helpless little pissants on my hands. I don’t make them clean up because I don’t want to do it (I don’t). I make them clean up because they have to understand that the reward for keeping a clean place is efficiency. If they spend 20 minutes picking up no one has to spend a frantic hour looking for that thing that they have to have for their class project. And I don’t negotiate. You don’t want to pick up? TOUGH SHIT. I didn’t want to go to work today but you people have to eat and I get put in jail if I don’t feed you so…. Off to work I go. You don’t want to do algebra? TOUGH SHIT. It’s on your class schedule and you are doing it no matter how stupid you might think it is. You don’t want to go to sports practice tonight? TOUGH SHIT. You signed up for it and I paid for it and you are going. If you’re sick you better spike a fever or puke up a lung. Otherwise get your gear and get in the car. You want to know why you have to do something? Because I told you to do it and that’s all the reason you’ll ever need. (That last one is a routine quote. Feel free to borrow it for your own use.)
The idea here is that they (like I eventually did) learn that you cannot have what you want right damn now. Do you see a problem yet?? Ah HA!! Yes. Too many kids who DO think that they can have what they want right damn now. And the reason is because of people like the pinhead that wrote the article that was published on a major internet news and search provider’s page. I am an adult. I have the ability to think things through and yes, as a matter of fact, I do know better than my kids what is good for them. They will use whatever belligerent, sneaky or nefarious means they can to get what they want. Even when what they want has a pretty good chance of blowing them up. They won’t have thought that far because they’re kids. Kids behave exactly like terrorists and Rama does not negotiate with terrorists.