Me: “You and your sister have to agree on the show”
L: “I want Mickey”
T: “Uh-uh. I want My Little Pony”
L: “NO! Mickey!!”
Me: “You and your sister have to agree. Maybe you can choose another show.”
L: “Daniel Tiger”
T: “No, Octonauts.”
….and on and on and on. My kids have lots of different shows they watch: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sophia the First, The Octonauts, My Little Pony, Daniel Tiger, Curious George, Doc McStuffins, Super Why. That doesn’t even include the movies.
But we only allow one or two episodes of television each day. If they earn it. Which was leading to far too many arguments. Arguments that I didn’t want to hear at the end of the day.
Eventually, trying to get the kids to take turns choosing which episode to watch started to backfire. And a couple months ago I finally had enough. We sat down and they learned how to negotiate without complaint.
The format is basic: One starts with a suggestion. If the other disagrees, then they get to make an alternative suggestion. Every time a suggestion is vetoed it’s not available for further consideration unless the child who originally declined that suggestion suddenly changes her mind or all allowed shows have been suggested.
Sometimes they come to an agreement quickly. Other days it can take a while. But they have to stay kind, and no eye rolling, yelling or complaining is allowed. So far it’s worked well. We’ll see if it lasts…
Many thanks to Jenerally Informed, LeapFrog and LipGloss and Breaking the Momma Mold for inspiring this post with their #MommyReality Challenge 37: Reel Life, Reel Time. There’s still time to link up…so what are you waiting for?