Roni Jay is a professional writer and publisher specialising in parenting subjects. Her most recent books include 'Kids & Co', which is about how to use business ideas to raise children, and 'Babies for Beginners', a humorous, no-nonsense guide that takes the stress out of looking after a newborn. She is married and lives in Devon with her three young children. She also has three grown-up stepchildren.
KIDS & Co
Winning business tactics for every family
Ros Jay has had a brilliant idea, and what is more she has executed it brilliantly. KIDS & CO is the essential handbook for any manager about to commit the act of parenthood, and a thoroughly entertaining read for everyone else.
Most of us spend several years working before becoming parents, and the majority of us continue to work once we have children. At work, you learn all sorts of valuable skills managing, selling, negotiating and so on which you can apply in any company you work for. But when you become a parent, all those hard-learned skills are useless. Or are they?
KIDS & Co explains how your business skills dont have to go out of the window when you walk in through the front door. You may sometimes feel that the kids get the better of you every time, but here is one weapon you have that they dont: all those business skills you are familiar with and they know nothing about. Closing the sale, win/win negotiating, motivational skills, and all the rest of them. All you need to do is learn how to apply them to your children as well as to your customers and your staff.
Obviously there is no perfect way to handle our kids so that we never hear a single whinge or tantrum (mores the pity) but there are certainly techniques which make life a whole lot easier. Whats more, as we know from our business experience, these techniques work on grown-ups. So they should be effective with children right through to adulthood even when, like customers and staff, they have got wise to the techniques and know what youre up to.
KIDS & Co covers a serious subject the business of parenting with a light-hearted touch.
1. Customer relations skills: make your children feel they matter
2. Selling skills: get your children to do whatever you want willingly
3. Negotiating skills: meet each other half way
4. Motivation skills: generate enthusiasm in your children
5. Management skills: get the best from your kids
6. Teamwork skills: show your children how to get along together
Ros Jay is a professional author who writes books on both business and parenting topics, in this case simultaneously. Her books include Fast Thinking Managers Manual, Build a Great Team and How to Manage Your Boss, all for Prentice Hall, Smart Things to Know about Customers for Capstone, and Baby Sanctuary for Chrysalis Books. She is the mother of three young children and stepmother to another three grown-up ones.
Kids & Co Background information
ISBN: 0 9543914 0 3
Publication date: 15 March 2003
Author: Ros Jay
Binding: paperback No of pages: 128 Trim size: 216mm x 138mm
KIDS & Co is available through the book trade or can be ordered via:
White Ladder Press Ltd
Great Ambrook, Near Ipplepen, Devon TQ12 5UL
Phone 01803 813343
Fax 01803 813928
It should be possible to show your child that interrupting isn’t in his own best interests. If he gets an instant response, obviously he’ll go on interrupting because it works. However, if you ignore him, you will simply make him angry and frustrated and inflame the situation.
So you need a middle route. Look your child in the eye, smile at him, and say, “I’m busy at the moment. If you wait until I’ve finished I’ll be right with you.” Then firmly refuse to give him any more attention until you’ve finished what you’re doing. Finally, when you have finished, make sure you give him your undivided attention to let him see that it was worth waiting.
It will take a few days for your son to break his habit of interrupting. But if you let him see clearly that he will get your attention soon, and that it will be a far better quality of attention than he would otherwise have, he’ll learn to wait his turn.
When it comes to negotiating with children, you need to be creative. Introduce lots of other factors into the equation so you have plenty of levers and lots of room to manoeuvre. Here are just a few ideas:
Bedtime can be later at weekends than during the week, or later in the holidays than in term time.
Your daughter could go to bed at 8.30 but have half an hour of quiet time in her room before she has to get into bed.
A later bedtime could be earned by doing chores.
You could agree a system with a review date after, say, two weeks. If you do this you need to be quite clear what will or won't constitute a successful trial so there are no surprises when you review.
Bribery has a very bad name – it implies either corruption or appeasement. And certainly, appeasing children by offering a reward if they stop their bad behaviour is not a smart move. Quite simply, it doesn't work. It teaches your child that if they behave badly trhey will get a reward for it.
However, offering a reward before there has been any bad behaviour is a completely different matter. This approach is often tarred with the same brush but it isn't bribery at all. It's used frequently between adults: "If you meet this target you'll get a promotion", "If you finish the building work on time you'll get a bonus" and so on.
All you need to do is anticipate trouble – you know the usual flash points with your child – and tell them in advance that they will be rewarded if they behave well. You can offer them an extra half hour of television, or a packet or crisps, or an extension on their bedtime, or a treat at the weekend – whatever motivates them and seems appropriate to you.