Demanding Behaviour in Kids

As a parent or carer, you may have noticed that your child has a tendency to use demanding behaviours when they want something. While it may seem like an effective way to get what they want in the moment, it is important to teach children negotiation skills so that they can have more successful and positive relationships with others in the future.

Negotiation is a skill that involves communicating and compromising with others in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. It is a valuable tool for children to have in all areas of their lives, from playdates with friends to resolving conflicts with siblings.

Here are some tips and exercises that you can use to help your child develop their negotiation skills:

  1. Model negotiation skills. Children learn best through observation, so make sure that you are demonstrating good negotiation skills yourself. Show your child how you communicate respectfully, listen to others, and find a compromise that works for everyone involved.
  2. Teach active listening. Encourage your child to pay attention to what others are saying and to think about their point of view. This will help them to understand the other person’s needs and interests, which is key to successful negotiation.
  3. Practice problem-solving. Teach your child to look for creative solutions to conflicts and to think about ways to meet everyone’s needs. Encourage them to consider different options and to compromise when necessary.
  4. Use role-playing exercises. Create scenarios where your child can practice negotiating with others. This can help them to build their confidence and develop their negotiation skills in a safe and supportive environment.
  5. Reward positive behaviour. When your child successfully negotiates with others, make sure to praise and reward their efforts. This will reinforce their positive behaviour and encourage them to continue using negotiation skills in the future.

In conclusion, teaching children negotiation skills is an important part of helping them develop healthy relationships with others. By modelling good negotiation skills, teaching active listening, practicing problem-solving, using role-playing exercises, and rewarding positive behaviour, you can help your child become a confident and successful negotiator.


  1. Harvard Law School. (2021). Negotiation skills for kids. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2021].
  2. American Bar Association. (2021). Tips for teaching children negotiation skills. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2021].
  3. KidsHealth. (2021). Teaching kids problem-solving skills. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2021].