Negotiation Tactics… Of A 6 Year Old


Thursday 27 February, 2014 by Uncle Spike

I’m think of myself as a man of the world. I survived two decades in the world of corporate business. I have been widowed once, and as a result, married twice. I have learned many life skills over the years, but… I am still regularly outsmarted by a 118cm six year old bilingual muppet!

Cousin Spike Jnr’s world revolves around boundaries – as a mini-me, he needs, and appears to thrive on having, discipline and routine in his life. This is how he has been brought up and to be honest, he seems to be happy knowing ‘where he stands’. It’s a mutually agreeable existence, particularly as it’s just the two of us for five days a week, with Aunty Spike working away, no other offspring, and no relatives closer than a days travel away.




Life is a continual learning experience for us all, and certainly no different for our Youngling. With his heart set on becoming a Padawan in the coming years, he reads as many Star Wars books as is humanly possible, always trying to glean any additional morsel of useful data in his quest.

Negotiation. An art form that we all practise to a certain degree. I recall a number of training seminars on the subject and countless real life scenarios thereafter – with some even being more successful in their outcome than the majority. Small person is currently undergoing his training on said subject, and I do believe he is showing promising signs already...

Play time is often a time-measured in order that bedtimes are met, or homework tasks are completed as required. To help with that, we utilise the timer facility on the oven. We ‘negotiate’ the required time, and he runs into the kitchen and sets the timer on the oven.




Fine – it’s been that way for more than a year. But only now he adds an extra minute. Why? Simple, it was his idea and put simply…

“I need travel time daddy – to set the clock and come back”

Grrr… ok, I gave him that one, and he has never abused it. But last night saw an extension of this principle.




We had ‘agreed’ a 10 minute playtime following our evening meal (after he had cleared the table and I had washed up). After 5 minutes he reappeared in the kitchen.

“Daddy, I need the loo”

“ok son, off you go”

“So I need an extra 3 minutes on the timer”

It was agreed and he amended the timer to add 3 minutes on to the remaining 5 minutes. And off he went to the little boys room.

Two minutes later he was back. Business had been concluded, paws washed.

“Look daddy, 6 minutes remaining. I’m in credit!”

“So you are. Didn’t need the 3 minutes then?”

“Nope. I knew that daddy. But now I have an extra minute, don’t I?
<he laughed, daddy cringed>

And with that, he notched up a win and disappeared to resume building a spaceship from his mixed 4kg pile of Lego.

Now that he has used that trick, and successfully I might add, what’s next up his sleeve I wonder?




9 thoughts on “Negotiation Tactics… Of A 6 Year Old

  1. fredrieka says:

    points of view.. yup.. when I became a step mother the kids treated me like a substitute teacher. SO one day I said. “What we have here is a failure to communicate” “Any further problems will result with you spending the night in the box” I then sat them down and we watched Cool Hand Luke. They were darlings for quite a while after that. 😀


  2. That’s one gem of a post, Uncle Spike 🙂


  3. annette2121 says:

    Discipline and consistency (especially between both parents) are fundamental to a happy family and well-adjusted kids. However sometimes you just have to let them win!
    (Mother of three now grown up kids).


  4. KG says:

    😀 Kids always amaze me. I have a tough time with my nieces and nephew especially when they try to use logic


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