Answers to 4 Common Arguments Kids Like to Make
1. "All the other kids get driven to school."
Answer: "Why should I care?"
Lesson: A kid persuades only when she thinks about what motivates the audience — you, not her.
2. "What's a frittata? I hate it."
Answer: "Talk me into a substitute."
Lesson: Instead of persuading him, teach him to persuade you. Most kids don't like to fight for the sake of fighting; the opportunity both to have their way and avoid a fight is a powerful motive for learning to argue.
3. "I don't want to clean my room."
Answer: "Yes, you do, and here's why."
Lesson: Gain control of the definition, and you control most of the argument. Define "want" in your own terms. ("It's in your best interest to please me.") Enjoy it while you can — your kid will learn to define an argument much too fast, and then, rhetorically speaking, it's all downhill for you.
4. "I'm too scared."
Answer: "I agree. You are."
Lesson: Conceding your opponent's point can win you the argumentative advantage, or atleast your child's attention. It's rhetorical jujitsu.
Why would any sane parent teach his kids to talk back?
Because, this father found, it actually increased family harmony.