The power of persuasive appeals: lessons from a 10 year master manipulator

>> Sunday, October 02, 2011

Little Miss Magic has always gotten what she wants. Truth be told, she rarely hears the word "no." Part of that is that she is the middle child and only girl, and the other part is that she is just so darned cute and funny! We hate saying "no," and when we do, she puts on the saddest face you have ever seen...and her tears are so genuine, until a few seconds later when she hears "Yes," and starts to giggle. Then, I realize I have been taken for the 9000th time! Here's the face that breaks my heart! Photobucket

Lately, she's gotten a bit snotty and has begun rubbing manipulation skills into her brothers face with the standard, "Ha, I got x and you didn't." When we have caught her, we have realized that she is getting obnoxious -- but in such a cute way ;-). Regardless, we have decided to try "no," and "wait," just a little more often, even if it hurts me more than her. She's gotten the hint, and is learning her tears don't always work.

Well, she wants her room painted a pale purpleish blue. We bought paint at Sherwin Williams 40% off sale two weeks ago. Oh, is she getting impatient!!!! But, after asking and sobbing, and realizing that "when we get time," means "your tears don't work," she wised-up and stopped the daily pestering.

This morning, she walked into our room in full Little Miss Magic mode, chipper and cute, funny and affectionate. Oh she was turning it on. Then, she turned and said, "Am I a hero?" Why Maren, do you think you are a hero? She replied, "Yesterday, I caught the dogs by myself." Ah, she is right. The dogs pushed through an open window and while we were frantically looking in the woods behind our home, Maren spotted them down the street. She somehow got ahold of their collars and waited until Jon emerged from the woods and called to him. He went and grabbed the 70 pound jailbreakers :-).So, yes Maren, you ARE a HERO!

Well, we should have known...her follow up was, "I am hero. I saved Cubby and Tiki. Can we a big breakfast?" Simple enough request, it is a Sunday. So sure! "Can I go watch TV?" Again, it this weekend, so no problem. "Can I vacuum my room?" Wow, girl, go right are so grown-up!

Then, she finishes us off: lowers the bomb. "Today can we paint my room?" She had us. She gave us a reason to congratulate her, asked us a series of yes questions, the came in for the kill; she used the foot-in-the door persuasion tactic! And, of course, we caved.

Today, her room will be a lovely shade of light purpleish/blue!


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