Your child is quite smart at this point and has already started negotiating, especially with you. For instance. when you asked him to finish his last four bites of roti, he resisted with a “No, only one bite." You stared and said “No, three.” To which he might have coolly replied, ”Okay, two then.”
What you need to know
A 4-5 year old has exceptional observation and knows how to get his or her things done. Such negotiation skills are necessary for social graces and will help the little one get along with people better. At the same time, giving in to a child’s demands makes you susceptible to his or her whims and fancies in future.
Being consistent in certain rules and flexible in not-so-important ones makes the child understand their significance. For example, the plate has to be emptied every time, no excuses. Play time should not exceed beyond one hour. While the first rule has to be followed diligently, the second rule is subject to change based on home work or during holidays.
While negotiating with friends, especially on what to play, children tend to lose patience and may end up fighting. Adult intervention helps them understand the need to take turns and accommodate every child’s wish. Your 4-5 year old is no more egocentric although he or she needs to be reassured of the benefits of co-operation and win-win solutions. While there are no hard and fast rules for negotiation, mutual acceptability based on moral grounds is the vital ingredient for sustainable deals.