We heard about using “compromises” with kids from several real parents. You know…the people who have been caring for kids for more than a few days.
It sounded like a great way to empower kids to use their voices, while helping them learn that they couldn’t always have their way. Or at least their whole way.
Two big wins for communicators who thought it was important to be others-focused at any age.
We started off by teaching our foster kids what a compromise was. We used an example. If I said we needed to leave in 5 minutes, you could ask for a compromise of leaving in 10 minutes.
To get the ball rolling, we rewarded anyone who asked for a compromise. And all of sudden, the ball was flying.
Compromises became a family go-to.
It was great fun watching their minds get the hang of it. Little Nick, our five-year-old external processor, would walk through some outlandish options until he figured out one that seemed reasonable enough to him. Sometimes we still had to reign him in a bit. But eventually we’d find a happy medium together and he would respond with a very business-like “that’s fair.”
While yes wasn’t a guarantee, it was a pretty safe bet. And yes for a kid is pretty much always a good thing. Especially for foster kids who get state-mandated no’s to things that should never get a no.
After a couple months of finding our rhythm with it, we asked the kids what they thought. Victor’s answer said it best – “compromises help me.”
Done. Compromises are pro-kid. And we want to be pro-kid.