The concept of compromise sounds great on the surface. No one is getting their way. The word would almost have you believe that since neither party involved is getting exactly what they want, both parties are working together, therefore creating a win/win situation.

And, that is the point at which you would be wrong. It’s a tricky little word and one that often causes confusion and ill-feelings. If both parties are giving up part of what they want/need, compromise turns into a lose/lose situation.

I often hear parents say that they work with their kids by compromising with them. Compromise is not a method of working with your children. Working with your children means taking into account everyone’s needs/wants and coming up with a solution that works for all involved parties. There will be times when working with your kids has the appearance of compromise, but deep down it’s much more. Instead of everyone giving up something they need or want in order to reach middle ground, each party begins the situation knowing that their needs will be met. When you know that your needs will be met, you are much more willing to work with another person and listen to possible solutions other than your own. While working with your children may occassionally look like compromise, it’s also likely to involve new, unique solutions which work even better for everyone.

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