Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Lesson in Persuasiveness

We all have different ways of getting what we want.  We gauge the personality we are dealing with, our timing, our delivery and our strategy.  Each one of these things are learned through trial and error.  You never know what works until you try something that doesn't.  My little one is just beginning to figure out the intricacies of being persuasive.  

He had woken up from his nap before his brother and we were pretending to build with his tools.  I jumped up to grab a snack for us and the Twizzlers were calling my name.  I brought him some fruit and tried to wolf down the Twizzlers before he caught me.  No dice.  

"Mama!  Candy!" he said.  I broke off a little piece for him and he happily shoved every last inch of it into his mouth.  While his cheeks were still puffed out like a squirrel saving nuts for the winter, he made a move for my remaining Twizzler.  He batted his eye lashes, smiled a half smile and said, "Mama" in the sweetest voice you've ever heard.  "Peeeeese!" he said in baby talk for please.

"You can't have my candy, silly boy.  Eat your candy," I told him.  I saw the wheels turning in his head. Before I could react, his chubby fingers were around my Twizzler as he yelled, "MINE!" and let out a very fake and contrived cry.

This time, I got a bit more stern.  "No, bud.  It's not yours, it's mine.  You already have candy," I said.  This time, he didn't miss a beat.  He looked at me with his giant, earnest eyes and asked, "Hit?"

He had run through all his options.  Asking nicely, stealing and finally, hitting.  I laughed so hard at the fact that he asked before hitting.  He really did want to know if hitting would work.  Better that than actually doing it, right?  We all learn through trial and error.  It just take some time to get things right.

How do your children work to persuade you?  What ways are most effective in getting what they want?

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