We want our kids to obey. We also want our children to gain independence, develop good thinking skills and approach situations where they disagree appropriately. Therefore, we want to establish a method for a rebuttal. One thing we try and teach our kids is to obey and then ask why. Another is to ask to disobey. The third is a rebuttal process. It shows a willingness to obey in the end but a desire to express their concerns or issues with a request. First, make sure they are doing the request respectfully in a non-argumentative tone. If not, ask them to come back when they can talk to you reasonably. When they do, listen to their reasoning. Try and really hear what they are saying. For example, let’s say your child wants to go out and play and you have said no. They come back with, “Tim is out there, and I haven’t seen him for a week.” You can come back with, “I understand how you’d want to see your friend. My concern is that your school work isn’t done yet, and you won’t have time to finish it. How about this – If you finish your homework completely and well, you can go out to see Tim. If you don’t get it done in time, we can invite him over on Sunday.” Negotiation is a great tool to teach your kids even though we sometimes just wish it was direct obedience. It is a skill, which if taught well, will help them become more effective in a variety of situations.