This idea can help kids step up their begging game – something beyond pleeeeeease and “everyone else gets to do it,” – as well as improving their writing game. They will learn there is communication and then there is effective communication.
When your child asks for something (a privilege, electronics, etc.), have them write a persuasive argument that convinces you. Some ideas to explore with them before they begin:
- Help them begin with a nice long list of pros and cons. Just listing the ‘cons’ legitimizes them. See how many of your real concerns they can come up with on their own. Learning to anticipate others’ real objections is an important part of presenting a persuasive argument. (Know your audience.)
- What you want to see in their written argument
- Acknowledge your real concerns
- Write a few sentences to show the benefits – “Dazzle me with what you will do with that new privilege/thing.”
- Give me some information – cost, new capabilities, what happens if you don’t get it, any commitments you will make if it happens.
- Any room for negotiation
- Few sentences at the end making the request really clear and compelling
- Remind them that you still may have to decline the request – but can use the argument to perhaps negotiate a different solution.