Figuring out how to negotiate with kids is something I think we can take our business experience to help us work with our kids to find the best solution.
Today’s guest is Jamie Lieberman — she is the Owner and Founder of Hashtag Legal. She’s one of my favorites to look to about negotiating tips. Find her on Instagram and she has an upcoming podcast all about business too!
In this episode
We talk about the tips for negotiating for business.
Learning to understand our kid’s interests and balancing them with our own.
Balancing the give and take and having an agreement.
Other things that might interest you
Working at Home with Kids (with Jamie)
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other parenting podcasts:
[00:00:00.130] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast today on episode 120. We’re talking about negotiating with terrorists… I mean, kids. Negotiating with kids. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:20.090] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary Erickson, the curly head behind the Pulling Curls Podcast. We untangle pregnancy, parenting, home and even travel. We know there’s no right answer for every family, but hopefully we can spark some ideas that will work for yours. Life’s tangled just like my hair.
[00:00:42.810] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, guys, before we get started. Remember, you can subscribe if you’ve listened to me a couple of times and you’re like, “oh, it’s kind of fun.” Just jump into your favorite podcast player: Stitcher, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast. Jump in there and subscribe. Bonus you can always leave a review while you’re there, too. And then the blessings from heaven will rain down on you, and your kids will do exactly what you want. I’m pretty sure. Thanks.
[00:01:03.810] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, guys, today’s guest is the brains behind the law firm Hashtag Legal. She does legal for small businesses, and she always talks on negotiation when we’re at conferences. And she’s actually my lawyer. I want to introduce today’s guest. She’s actually been on before Jamie Lieberman.
[00:01:26.230] – Hilary Erickson
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[00:02:03.470] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, Jamie, welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:02:06.230] – Jamie Liebermann
Thanks for having me.
[00:02:07.370] – Hilary Erickson
It must be so fun to talk about parenting versus law. Which one’s easier?
[00:02:10.910] – Jamie Liebermann
Oh, my God. Law. Come on. Parenting. Who says parenting is easy? Do you have anyone who’s ever said that?
[00:02:18.770] – Hilary Erickson
I guess people with nannies, maybe I have a nanny. No, like fulltime nanny. She’s full time. No, she doesn’t. Come on the weekends, does she?
[00:02:29.030] – Jamie Liebermann
No, she doesn’t live with us.
[00:02:30.770] – Hilary Erickson
No, I’m talking about people who basically just see their kids. Like the Queen. The Queen probably thinks parenting right. That’s fair. That’s fair.
[00:02:38.210] – Jamie Liebermann
Yes, I would agree with that. She probably does think it’s easy. She’s wrong.
[00:02:44.330] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, so Jamie, who’s always who I look to for my negotiation tips. When I was thinking about quitting my job at the hospital, I was always going through Jamie’s tips as I was talking to my manager, and I was like, don’t be afraid to pause. Don’t be afraid to pause because that’s my worst one. I hate it when it’s just quiet in the room, and I just hear Jamie in the background say, don’t be afraid of the pause, and I just sit there and be like, I’m going to wait for you to talk.
[00:03:08.330] – Hilary Erickson
I wish you the best.
[00:03:10.850] – Jamie Liebermann
I have that with my kids all the time, and they don’t mind silence. So they’ll just stare right back. I’m like, now we’re just here for ten minutes while we’re staring at each other silently in each other’s eyes.
[00:03:22.610] – Hilary Erickson
That’s so fun. Parenting is fun. Okay. All right. So what are your tips for negotiations? By the way, if you are looking for businesses, Jamie is actually my lawyer. She did my trademark and my Copyright and other lawyers things. If you’re looking for a lawyer for your small business, Jamie is your Gal. Her business is hashtag legal, but she also gives this talk at lots and lots of conferences.
[00:03:45.350] – Jamie Liebermann
I think I’ve heard it twice. I think you’ve probably heard it more than twice.
[00:03:49.130] – Hilary Erickson
Maybe. Okay. What are your tips for negotiating?
[00:03:51.530] – Jamie Liebermann
Do you want my general tips?
[00:03:53.090] – Hilary Erickson
Well, I think we take the tips and just apply them.
[00:03:55.850] – Jamie Liebermann
Right? I like that children.
[00:03:59.330] – Hilary Erickson
Terrorist. Yeah, I love that.
[00:04:03.650] – Jamie Liebermann
So my first tip, I have steps for negotiation, which I actually think could really work with kids as well, because your first step is actually strategizing. And this is where I think we go wrong as parents, right? We never strategize. We just, like, jump right in with the emotion of the negotiation, because often it happens on the fly. I mean, even this morning, my kids were ready six minutes prior to having to leave for school. And they have a new Lego set because it was just my older son’s birthday, and he got it for his birthday.
[00:04:32.870] – Jamie Liebermann
And of course, what he wanted to do was open every single bag and dump all the Lego on the floor and then leave. Because why wouldn’t you do that? And so I’m in the moment with him. And instead of stepping back and strategizing and thinking to myself, like, how do I want to handle this? I was just like, no, get out of here. And then he started to negotiate. He’s like, Well, what if I just take the bags out of the box if I just open one bag?
[00:04:54.290] – Jamie Liebermann
And what if I leave the bag so I could put the stuff back in the bag after I take it out of the bag? So I think Strategizing is your first piece of advice.
[00:05:03.050] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, stepping back. I mean, the problem is it’s a constant negotiation, right? When my kids are home, it’s a constant negotiation. I feel like, Can I have more Internet time? What time is my curfew? What time do I need to be home? Can I take seven snacks in my lunch?
[00:05:17.330] – Jamie Liebermann
Can I not have lunch and just have snacks?
[00:05:20.690] – Hilary Erickson
That is lunch, Jamie, for me. Yeah.
[00:05:23.690] – Jamie Liebermann
I feel a little hypocritical when I’m like, no, you can’t eat Doritos for lunch and I’m eating Doritos for lunch. But whenever I’m a grown up, right?
[00:05:31.130] – Hilary Erickson
You’ve already grown all your cells. They are still growing cells. So I think that’s a good tip in my logical parenting post. I have one that’s like, don’t be afraid. This is especially for teenagers. Don’t be afraid to step back and be like, I’m going to take some time to think about this because also, I think that makes your kids.
[00:05:45.830] – Jamie Liebermann
Like, going back to your idea of the power of the pause. I actually like saying to them, like, I need a minute. I just need a moment for us to think about this. Obviously, with my example this morning we had six minutes, so we didn’t have a lot of time to pause. And I had to just caught the negotiation, which was zero. But we did have I try to in that strategy, think to myself. And I do this really in my framework, because when you strategize in a business negotiation or frankly, any negotiation, you’re thinking like, what are my interests and what are their interests?
[00:06:19.470] – Jamie Liebermann
And I think as parents, sometimes we forget that our kids have interests, right? They have opinions and feelings and they want things. And our instinct is just to be like, no, get out of here. You can’t do that. That’s crazy. But thinking about what their interest is, what does he want to do? I mean, he’s super excited. This is a brand new 18 plus Lego set. No joke. And he wants to start doing it. So instead of just being a flat out, no, put it away.
[00:06:41.790] – Jamie Liebermann
It’s like, how about we do it later or at this time you can do it, or if you open it, we’re going to do X, Y and Z. So strategizing and thinking about what is he interested in and what does he want? And what do I want? And how can we come together to make those things aligned as much as possible?
[00:06:56.430] – Hilary Erickson
Or if you open those Legos before school, I will burn them in the fire pit.
[00:07:01.290] – Jamie Liebermann
That’s also another less collaborative approach.
[00:07:06.570] – Hilary Erickson
Kind of more like the Queen.
[00:07:08.430] – Jamie Liebermann
Yeah, exactly. I’m sure she says the same thing, but no, I as a negotiator try to be much more collaborative. And so I have to remind myself that my kids are human. And just because their kids doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings and they don’t have wants and needs and opinions. And sometimes their wants, needs and opinions are really bad for them. So you have to take a hard line stance. But in this instance, for me, my interest here was, I don’t want to step on your Legos, or I don’t want to have to be cleaning up your Legos at 08:00 at night.
[00:07:36.270] – Jamie Liebermann
So I don’t want them all over the floor because I know you only have six minutes, and there’s nothing you can do but dump them out. So that’s like a silly waste of time. So getting to the deep root of not just a no, but why and how we can look to the future or do something else as a compromise, I think, is a better approach than just like, no, go to school. Yeah.
[00:07:58.230] – Hilary Erickson
And their interest gets so much more as they get older.
[00:08:01.950] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:08:04.050] – Hilary Erickson
My kid actually is going to need to go to College. So I really have to look into, like, I guess that would be good on your resume.
[00:08:09.870] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:08:11.190] – Hilary Erickson
So yeah, I like that a lot. And sometimes you just forget what it’s like to be a kid. And what’s in their brain about something is so important that you think is so dumb.
[00:08:19.950] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:08:20.490] – Hilary Erickson
Pokemon cards, for instance, when my kids were little, I just was like, the epitome of dumb, but so important to them.
[00:08:27.030] – Jamie Liebermann
Well, another good example is my older son, just for his birthday got an electric guitar. He’s been playing guitar for a year, and we told him that after you spend one year taking lessons and practicing regularly, we will buy you an electric guitar for your birthday. That’s like, you have to earn it and work towards it and show us you want to play guitar. And he did. And he absolutely practiced. I never had to tell him, too. He loved it. He was so excited. It’s very big deal.
[00:08:50.370] – Jamie Liebermann
He then went and he’s in the school band. And he actually asked. He asked his band teacher, can I play the electric guitar in the band? And they actually got really excited. But what no one thought about was, how are we going to get the electric guitar in the school every morning? Because we live in a city and we walk. And this thing is heavy. And so that’s going to take some parental help at 07:00 a.m. When bad practices.
[00:09:12.390] – Hilary Erickson
Jamie’s going to have to buy a wagon.
[00:09:14.970] – Jamie Liebermann
Exactly. I was like, what is happening. So for me, I’m like, this is such a hassle, but it is very important to him, and it means something. And like you said, we have to think about College. And so we’ll figure out a way to compromise on that and come up with a system. But my instincts was like, Are you kidding me? No. But we’re going to negotiate and figure out a way to make that work.
[00:09:37.050] – Hilary Erickson
Well, the logical thing there is. Yeah, you can do it. You have to get it to school. Like, you have to get it to school. Yes.
[00:09:42.870] – Jamie Liebermann
But he won’t be able to carry it all the way.
[00:09:44.910] – Hilary Erickson
It’s really heavy wagon, correct.
[00:09:48.570] – Jamie Liebermann
But then we have to lock up the wagon. We’re going to have to figure it out.
[00:09:53.730] – Hilary Erickson
[00:09:54.510] – Jamie Liebermann
But yes, he’s going to have a part of it. I mean, I’m not bringing it over there for him. He’ll be a part of the process, but we’re going to have to help kids.
[00:10:04.890] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. What’s the next step?
[00:10:06.150] – Jamie Liebermann
So our next step is setting the climate. I love this I love this analogy to parenting. This is incredible. So when we set the climate we talked about, I’m really a big fan of collaborative negotiation. It works better. It makes, I think the person that you’re working with, in this case, your kid feel way more empowered.
[00:10:24.630] – Hilary Erickson
[00:10:24.870] – Jamie Liebermann
They’re like all I have to say, we’re going to work together to come to a common ground. And even in those instances, like you’re talking about screen time, right? What parent is not fighting screen time every minute of the day. And so we know what’s good for our kids. We know what’s right for the kids and what their brains need, which is a lot less screen time than their brains crave. And so having a collaborative conversation with them about screen time. And instead of just setting the climate, which is the dictatorship that you’re talking about, that’s what I grew up with, literally, my mom would be like, this is a dictatorship, and I’m the dictator.
[00:10:59.670] – Jamie Liebermann
You get no say. And I do have vivid recollections of feeling powerless and angry and frustrated. So instead of making my kids feel like I’m the Overlord, which I am, but not making them feel that way, it gives them a sense of wanting to own the conversation and at least having a say in their lives. And so setting the climate, I think, is really very key, assuming one that an agreement is going to be reached because I tell all my business clients like, you have to go into these negotiations, assuming you’re going to come to an agreement, right?
[00:11:31.710] – Jamie Liebermann
You’re a rock star. Your business is amazing. And you’re absolutely going to make that deal. So I want to think the same thing, like my kids and I can come to a negotiated agreement. So setting the climate, I think, is key and for parents and for anybody in any negotiation, that’s all about listening and all about realizing that the other side has interests, needs and wants to.
[00:11:53.970] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. So it’s not yelling. So you’re saying screaming and yelling and withholding food is not assignment negotiation.
[00:12:00.630] – Jamie Liebermann
I mean, maybe withholding food, but I think about it, right. Like you and I have had many a conversation just about generally my business practice. And I sometimes have to deal with other lawyers, and I get screamed at by them regularly because lawyers can often be very difficult humans. And I hate it. It stinks. It makes me feel bad. I don’t like to be screamed at. So like, neither do my kids.
[00:12:21.750] – Hilary Erickson
[00:12:22.050] – Jamie Liebermann
Because nobody wants to be held at. So as a reminder that they have very similar feelings, probably that we do in these situations.
[00:12:29.370] – Hilary Erickson
So speaking of lawyers and teenagers, I mean, I get screamed at a lot. This is a fair, blah, blah, blah. But what do you do when the other lawyer screaming at you? You just keep your happy little Jamie face on.
[00:12:39.870] – Jamie Liebermann
I do I actually say to them, I’m really calm. And the more someone yells at me, the calmer I actually get. And I look at them and they say, if you’re going to scream at me, I do actually feel like I’m talking to a child. Sometimes when I have a lawyer yelling at me, I’ll say, Please lower your voice. And if you are unable to talk to me without screaming, we’re going to have to take this conversation to another time when you’re able to control your voice.
[00:13:04.710] – Jamie Liebermann
This is literally what I say. And so I don’t accept it. And I say, Please stop yelling. I’m talking to you in a calm voice, and I expect you to give me the same courtesy. And if you’re not able to stop yelling, then we’ll just reschedule this call for another time. And that’s kind of what I see to my kids. I’m like, if you’re going to yell at me, I’m not going to listen to you. I can’t hear you screaming at me. So if you want to lower your voice and have a real conversation where we’re going to be heard, I’ll do that.
[00:13:27.450] – Jamie Liebermann
So I think in a lot of ways, I kind of talk to my kids like they’re an adult and just say, if you want me to not yell at you, then don’t yell at me.
[00:13:34.830] – Hilary Erickson
[00:13:35.250] – Jamie Liebermann
So I try not to yell. Sometimes I’m human and they do really boneheaded stuff, and I get mad. But for the most part, I really have made a conservative effort, particularly through the pandemic, to not raise my voice because we were all so on edge and so tense and so frustrated that it adds to that sort of you’re not getting anywhere when you’re yelling, nobody’s listening.
[00:13:56.070] – Hilary Erickson
I feel like yelling is almost always a reaction, like they break the plate and it’s all over the kitchen and they just walk away. Or it’s not so much a negotiation. It’s like, why did I have kids? Yes.
[00:14:09.910] – Jamie Liebermann
When my son accidentally drew on the wall and I’m like, just a wall. Brad, he didn’t do it on purpose. But I really want to yell at him. He was waving that Sharpie around. Why he had a Sharpie that was being waved around. I don’t know. But yeah.
[00:14:30.490] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. What’s our next step?
[00:14:31.570] – Jamie Liebermann
We’re getting information. So this is where I feel like most negotiators fail at this. This is our worst part is we make a lot of assumptions about what the other side wants. And so when I’m in a negotiation, I’m trying to listen 70% to 75% of the time. And I promise you, as a parent, you’re just not doing that. And if you are, you’re amazing and should come on this podcast because as parents, we just tend to talk, talk, talk, talk. And so I really believe. And in the most successful negotiations, I’m just not doing that much talking.
[00:15:02.410] – Jamie Liebermann
I’m listening. I’m hearing what they want. I’m trying to clarify, what is my kid, actually, Ron in my Lego example, he wasn’t going to get anywhere with his Lego. He was just super excited about the new set, and he wanted to see what it was about, and he just wanted to explore it a little bit. And so hearing him say that like, oh, I’m Super excited about this. I just want to get this done. I mean, sometimes with the screen time, I think it’s a perfect example.
[00:15:25.510] – Jamie Liebermann
Is it’s not so much the screen time, but it’s the social interaction with their friends. Right. All my friends are online, and I feel like I’m missing something if I’m not online with them.
[00:15:33.910] – Jamie Liebermann
So finding alternate ways, hearing what their need is, and then trying to either find another way to get to that need or to explain to them or talk to them, or figure out a way that we can come up with a negotiated deal that maybe isn’t 15 hours on their phone. But it’s something else to get them the need or the interest that they want. So that I think, is listening. And sometimes it’s a matter of saying to them, yeah, I can’t give that to you. You’re not going to be able to talk to your friend for the next 7 hours.
[00:16:05.650] – Jamie Liebermann
There’s nothing I can do about that when we were kids, right? We talked on the phone and we didn’t have call waiting. So I’m really aging myself here. And so you tie up your phone line for 2 hours, and then my grandmother would try to call my mom, and she’s like, your phone’s been busy for 2 hours, and all I want to do is talk to my friends about nothing. I don’t even know what we talked about for 2 hours. It’s the same idea. So it’s really listening to them.
[00:16:28.930] – Jamie Liebermann
I think it’s getting information and listening, but really listening, not making assumptions about what they may or may not want. And kids, it’s way harder with kids, right? They don’t often know what they want. And so we have to ask the right questions. Those open ended questions that get them actually talking to us, because if we actually talk to them, they want you to know what they want. And so I think it’s the same with negotiating with any adult. They want you to know what they want so that you can hopefully come to a compromise because then everybody’s happy.
[00:16:56.470] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:16:57.070] – Hilary Erickson
I love that. Especially with teenagers. It’s not so much screen time. My one wants to be animator.
[00:17:03.010] – Jamie Liebermann
So guess what?
[00:17:03.790] – Hilary Erickson
You have to be on a screen. So you just have to figure out helping him set boundaries and be like, yeah, but your eyes are going to blaze out of your head if all you do is stare at the screen so.
[00:17:15.730] – Jamie Liebermann
Hard. Yeah, we have the same issue. My oldest play chess, and he loves chess. Nobody in the house plays chess, though. And so where is he playing chess on chess. Com. And so I want him to practice that I want him to have those opportunities. But I can’t let him play chess for four straight hours. His eyes and brain will, frankly, melt, despite the fact that playing chess or being an animator is wonderful for their brains. But it’s balanced. But then it’s teaching them that right. Helping them understand that difference.
[00:17:45.370] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:17:45.730] – Hilary Erickson
And getting to the root of, like, what is your actual need? Because his need might be, I need to animate X-Y-Z. I’m like, great. Let’s get that done. Let’s do it in an hour instead of, like, fussing around to make it absolute perfection. Let’s do it in an hour. And then I want your eyeballs to look at something different.
[00:18:02.230] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:18:02.710] – Hilary Erickson
[00:18:03.490] – Jamie Liebermann
So getting that information, asking those questions, not making the assumption that I think sometimes parents, we make the assumption that it’s all just kind of nefarious or something dumb or boneheaded. But sometimes they do really have real needs or a real want or something that they actually you want them to be able to do. So, helping them be able to articulate it and listening to them, I think, is really key. And frankly, any negotiation, listening is everything.
[00:18:28.510] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And learning to listen to themselves when they’re in College, because then they can be like, okay, what’s my actual need here? I know. And as a 20 year old, you’ll realize that you can’t look at a screen all day and they can realize, okay, what is my actual need here? And how can I do that while also keeping my eyes?
[00:18:47.050] – Jamie Liebermann
Exactly. All right.
[00:18:48.250] – Hilary Erickson
What’s our next step?
[00:18:49.210] – Jamie Liebermann
So at that point, I think you start to realize the more that you’re having these conversations and the more that you’re listening, you will start to realize that many of your positions and interests they’re the same. And so once you clarify that and you sort of become more collaborative with them, because in your situation, you want your kids to be an animator, right? Like, you’re excited by this. This is a cool thing. And so you’re like, yeah, I want that for you, too. So let’s find a way to have boundaries around that.
[00:19:14.830] – Jamie Liebermann
So you can do that. But then you can also go outside or read a book or go hang with a friend or whatever the case may be. So clarifying what your aligned interests are is key, because then it takes away a lot of the arguments it takes away with kids in particular. I mean, in negotiation, hopefully, we’re not actually arguing. You should be listening and talking and bargaining, I guess you’ll say. But you start with this, like, 1000 different issues that can be like what you’re in.
[00:19:41.530] – Jamie Liebermann
We call them interest in currencies and negotiations. And so sometimes when we figure out what the interests are and how they’re aligned, we can move around our currencies, which is the things we’re negotiating with, whether it’s time, money, alternatives, things like that. Then you’re able to come together and say, oh, my gosh, hey, child. A, we agree on these seven things. There’s only this one thing we have to figure out, which for a lot of us, it sounds like it’s time. And so let’s figure out a way that we can compromise on this time.
[00:20:12.190] – Jamie Liebermann
And we negotiate because we agree on issues one through seven. And then the kid feels like, oh, my gosh, I’ve been hurt. So maybe I am more inclined to say, yeah, I get it. It’s an hour or I can only have this. Or I got to do this before I can do that. Things like that, just having them be heard, having them know that there are there have to be boundaries and that maybe we can come up with the boundaries together so that they can feel like they have power and control over a life that they don’t have power and control over for kids.
[00:20:39.910] – Jamie Liebermann
So that’s really clarifying the interests, clarifying the positions and really figuring out what’s left at the end of all of that. Like, where do we agree? Where are we? Not quite in agreement yet. And then you know what you need to do, because your next step is bargaining.
[00:20:54.070] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And sometimes I think that’s sometimes out of the box as a business owner, a lot of times that’s out of the box. Maybe for a kid, it’s like, okay, today you can do chess for 4 hours, because that’s what you really want to do. But tomorrow we’re going to go chess free and negotiating that upfront and then making them stick to it probably is the other issue. You have to have a contract. I guess you need a written contract. Call your lawyer.
[00:21:17.590] – Jamie Liebermann
Yes, exactly. We have a planner in our house where we plan out, like a written planner so that they know when all their activities are. They know when they’re allowed to do the things that we’ve already negotiated, whether it’s screen time, practicing chess, practicing guitar, the fun and exciting things hanging with their friends, those things so they know in advance, there’s no surprises. And so that, I think, is also really helpful. And in some ways, it’s kind of like a contract because we write the planner out every Sunday night together, and they agree to it.
[00:21:46.270] – Jamie Liebermann
They’re like, okay, I know I’m doing this on this day. I know I have to do this a great example. My son got a hoverboard for his birthday, which is just one of the funniest things ever. And he really wanted to ride it. But he had not finished his homework, and I was like, look, man, I said, you got to get your homework done, but I’m not going to let you ride it immediately after your homework is done because you’ll rush your homework. So if you can have your homework done and you can do X, Y, and Z, we’ll totally go out and get that Hover and we’ll ride that hoverboard.
[00:22:15.490] – Jamie Liebermann
And so he was like, okay, I understand that. And so he went through. And it was much after the time he was done his homework because I didn’t want him rushing through his homework, and he was cool with it. And he unfortunately ended up raining. We couldn’t ride the Hover. I felt so bad because we had negotiated that deal. God doesn’t get included in those things. I think God does what God is going to do. So, yeah, that was unfortunate. But we had to deal with that, right?
[00:22:44.570] – Jamie Liebermann
Like, stuff comes up, things happen. And so we figured out another time that we put that in.
[00:22:49.790] – Hilary Erickson
When you say we rode the hoverboard, did Jamie get on the hoverboard just as a side note?
[00:22:54.530] – Jamie Liebermann
Yeah, I bought one that could actually hold my weight because the kid ones go up to like, I don’t know, like, £110. And I was like, Well, that’s not working. So I bought the kind that grownups can go on video, please. All right. Yeah.
[00:23:07.190] – Hilary Erickson
I think that’s super important. Okay. What’s our next step?
[00:23:10.670] – Jamie Liebermann
Like you said, we’re going to bargain. And the bargaining is usually when we start to argue. I mean, we could have been arguing the entire time, but hopefully by the end of this conversation because you’ve had such a long conversation and you’ve been so collaborative with your kids. Hopefully then the bargaining is just a lot easier. And it requires flexibility on the part of the parents. And I think sometimes because we maybe grew up in the dictatorship model, we forget that we do need to have some kind of flexibility and to give a little.
[00:23:39.710] – Jamie Liebermann
So that does require a give and take to ultimately come to that negotiated deal. And then, like you said, our last step is the contract, which sometimes it’s like our planner. And sometimes in business, it’s a real contract, which you need. But, yeah, writing it down or having an agreement. Sometimes I’ll shake hands with my kids if we’ve come to, like, a deal and they get a kick out of that. So I think that’s just memorializing. It just saying this is what we’ve agreed to. You agree to it don’t go back on it kind of thing.
[00:24:08.390] – Jamie Liebermann
And that’s the honor system.
[00:24:10.070] – Hilary Erickson
And it definitely stick to it on your end.
[00:24:12.050] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:24:12.350] – Hilary Erickson
Because with the skateboarding, my kids are always like, do you promise? And I’m like, Well, I do want to put it.
[00:24:18.110] – Jamie Liebermann
What is it?
[00:24:18.470] – Hilary Erickson
Force major. I want to put a Force major contract. If I die before the date of this, I cannot promise. Exactly. Or if I’m hospitalized.
[00:24:28.670] – Jamie Liebermann
If it rains, hoverboard can’t go outside, right? Yes, of course. You have to stick with it. That’s really key. You can’t go back the whole notion of because I said so that kind of stuff. I try to really stay far away from that, because again, I think a lot of times, the yelling, the frustration is just because kids feel powerless. They feel like they don’t have a voice. And if we go back on our word that we’re not showing them that they should stick with their word.
[00:24:54.350] – Jamie Liebermann
So I don’t make promises unless, like you said, the rain. There’s nothing we could do. We were like, out there with the hoverboard. We looked up and we’re like.
[00:25:02.570] – Hilary Erickson
Rain ruins everything. Seriously, I was just trying to think about how we could apply this to our friends with Toddlers out there. God bless you.
[00:25:10.730] – Jamie Liebermann
You can’t because that assumes you’re negotiating with, like, a reasonable party. Yeah.
[00:25:16.010] – Hilary Erickson
And sometimes your toddler is reasonable, and sometimes they’re not.
[00:25:18.590] – Jamie Liebermann
Well, I actually think that if your toddler, depending on how old your toddler is, obviously, your three four year olds, if they can articulate their needs and wants, I think asking them is really helpful. And I also found that our instinct is to say no all the time. I just had this conversation with a friend of mine about just kids you’re like, no, you feel like you’re saying no all the time. And in particular, with Toddlers, you feel like you’re saying no nonstop. So sometimes as a parent, I like to think about, like, can I actually say yes to this?
[00:25:47.510] – Jamie Liebermann
So I don’t feel like I’m saying no. And if I’m saying no, I try to give a reason, even to a toddler, to help them understand why. Usually it’s because of their safety, right?
[00:25:57.590] – Hilary Erickson
Or they’re not a hippopotamus, right? Just like, random. I want to be a fairy today. Okay. But you can’t jump off the roof like that’s. A no, don’t do that.
[00:26:06.710] – Jamie Liebermann
Yeah, you can’t do that. So I try to just give a reason and see Toddlers. Yeah.
[00:26:14.150] – Hilary Erickson
Well, something I know when you talk about negotiating contracts is like, everything could be negotiable. So as a blogger, I can be like, okay, but you only get rights to these photos for three months instead of six months. Or you don’t get any rights to Photos or XYZ. And so in these complex situations, not just like, I want the red cup, and we can’t find the red cup. You just go nuclear at that point. But these complex, especially as your kids get older, everything in that thing is negotiable.
[00:26:41.210] – Hilary Erickson
So, yes, your curfew is at 10:00 p.m.. But as long as you call me before 10:00 P.m., we can negotiate that. But I need a phone call to tell me what you’re doing and that it’s, like, profitable. Whatever you’re up to.
[00:26:53.810] – Jamie Liebermann
Exactly. Yeah. I totally like that. And I like the idea of giving because kids often don’t feel like they get if you’re like, in this, you give them a blanket. No. And they’re like, why I just got the shaft. So giving. And that’s what that is, too. There’s so many different facets to these issues, whether it’s screen time or curfew or the hoverboard or the Legos are as complex or as simple as they may be or feel. There’s loads of different ways that you can be creative in giving your kids something that they feel like, oh, I actually have a voice.
[00:27:25.610] – Jamie Liebermann
I have a say. This is what will make me happy. There are certain nonnegotiables, like, if homework is done, we’re not having a conversation. And that’s just a rule in our house that they know. So when they come home and they’re like, I didn’t finish my homework, I’m like, well, that’s a non starter. So there are certain things where you have to have rules and boundaries. Obviously, we can’t have them running around like crazy people. But once they’ve met those thresholds, which is like, no yelling, get your homework done.
[00:27:52.910] – Jamie Liebermann
Pick your stuff up. Like the rules of your home. Whatever they may be, there’s room for conversation.
[00:27:57.890] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And I love how you have those basic rules. Like, one of our rules at our house is that we don’t do overnighters so our kids can stay out late. They can go to laid overs, but they don’t sleep at somebody else’s house just for various reasons. But our kids just know that they know that that’s a boundary. And so now the negotiation is how late can I stay? Can I go over the next morning? Can I wear my pajamas, all those different kinds of things? So I like that.
[00:28:21.830] – Hilary Erickson
[00:28:22.010] – Jamie Liebermann
And every household is their own. So whatever you do, maybe it doesn’t work for our family, and that’s okay. It’s just you have to decide what those are and clearly communicate them, not assume your kid knows what they are. And obviously they’re going to change. When you’re toddlers, you don’t have to worry about sleepovers because nobody’s sleeping over as a toddler. But when you get in elementary school, that’s when those conversations start happening or when you get into high school and the sleepover takes a whole new.
[00:28:48.950] – Hilary Erickson
JK, we aren’t there.
[00:28:51.230] – Jamie Liebermann
Maybe we are.
[00:28:51.770] – Hilary Erickson
I have no idea. But you know me. I’ve talked about it to my kids 4000 times. All right, Jamie, this was awesome. Any last tips you have business owners? I think most of us just staying calm and remembering that you both have interest, because I will say that when you negotiate with the company, they want a great post that does well. And I want to do a great post that does well, too. We both have the same interest.
[00:29:11.510] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:29:11.990] – Hilary Erickson
[00:29:12.710] – Jamie Liebermann
That’s exactly right. Like remembering, because in the analogy I often use particularly like, you’re using content creators. Oftentimes we feel like David and Goliath. And so in that instance, your kid feels like, David, just remember what that feels like. They feel like I have no leverage. I have no power. I have no nothing. And I think remaining calm is really key. And if you’re heated, just walk away much in the same way that I say to those other attorneys like, if you can’t talk to me without yelling, we should probably just make this another day.
[00:29:42.530] – Jamie Liebermann
I’ve done that with my kids, and I’m like, you know what? I’m really angry right now. You said something really boneheaded, and I’m going to take five minutes. Yeah.
[00:29:50.510] – Hilary Erickson
And letting them know that that’s okay. That they could take that time out, too, when I say something mean to them. Because rest assured, I have said the main things to my kids before we’re human.
[00:29:59.270] – Jamie Liebermann
We’re too bad, right? We can’t be perfect.
[00:30:01.610] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And the pause. We didn’t talk about the pause in here, but it’s such a good idea when my manager would like to say something or I would like, drop a bomb, I would just leave it there. The bomb just stays there. The stink stays in the room until they decide to clear it. That’s right. I love it.
[00:30:16.070] – Jamie Liebermann
Yeah. You don’t need to explain it. Just say it. Just pause. Let them think about it.
[00:30:20.270] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. So many good tips for negotiating with our kids. I think it’s so important to remember that they have needs and wants. And maybe I should get that in vinyl lettering in every room in my house. Because a lot of times you’re just like, no, that’s just stupid.
[00:30:33.110] – Jamie Liebermann
I really, truly try to stop myself from doing that. Which is where the palace comes in, right? When they’re like, I need this tape and these matches and this piece of paper and 17 toothpicks. And you’re like, let me pause for a moment before I’m like, what?
[00:30:51.050] – Hilary Erickson
How about you draw me a drawing while I take a pause?
[00:30:54.230] – Jamie Liebermann
Yeah, I’m like, what’s that for? Ask questions.
[00:31:00.710] – Hilary Erickson
I saw a meme. I was on TikTok where the kids, like, I need Maple syrup and string.
[00:31:05.630] – Jamie Liebermann
Sounds like my house.
[00:31:06.590] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I remember those days. Now we do different stupid things, but they just keep bringing in somehow they find a new level stupid every year. It’s true. That’s true.
[00:31:15.050] – Jamie Liebermann
[00:31:15.290] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks for coming on, Jamie.
[00:31:16.430] – Jamie Liebermann
Thanks for having me.
[00:31:17.630] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. If you enjoyed that episode, Jamie has one about working from home with kids. We recorded it during quarantine, so I’ll put that one in the show notes, too. But I really enjoyed that episode just because negotiation really is the same. If I’m negotiating a contract with a company, it’s the same if I’m negotiating at my work. And so all of these principles and negotiation happens in all the things like it happens in PTA. It happens with your kids, teachers. And so when you get good at it, it can be really helpful that you’re not feeling it’s confrontational. You’re just trying to get both parties as much as what they want at a cost they can afford. Right? Okay.
[00:31:49.850] – Hilary Erickson
Don’t miss next week’s episode. We are talking about Christmas, so stay tuned for that one as well.
[00:31:54.950] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. We know you have lots of options for your ears. And we are glad that you chose us. We drop episodes weekly. And until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.