I received this wonderful account from Erin, age 12.
I had stayed up late the night before at our ward’s Women’s Retreat, and was grumpy that evening. My sister and I were supposed to clean our room. I was mean to her, and my mom took away my book, Palace of Stone, for five days. When I argued and tried to get my book back, I got sent to bed.
As I was lying there, I was trying to think of ways to get my book back. I didn’t want to just take it, even though I knew I could easily find it and take it back. The only other way I could think of was to convince my mom to give it back, and I didn’t know how I would do that. So I started thinking about what I had already read. I had just passed the part when Miri convinces Peder’s dad to let him go to the lowland by using Diplomacy. Suddenly the idea came to me. I could use diplomacy to get my book back. If it worked for Miri, is should work for me, right?
Rule one: Identify the problem
“I know I’m not allowed to have my book back.”
Rule two: Admit your own error
“I was mean to Ashley and disobeyed you. That was wrong.”
Rule three: State the error of the other party
“But you took my book and yelled at me. That was wrong too.”
Rules four + five: Propose specific compromises + Invite mutual acceptance
“I think we should put that behind us and forget last night on these terms. I will try my hardest to be nice to my siblings and do everything I’m asked the first time. In return you will give me my book back.”
Rules five + six: Illustrate the negative outcome of refusal and positive acceptance + Assert a deadline for acceptance
I couldn’t really think of any way to say this without it sounding like a threat. You know, she is my mom. :)
I also had to make sure she was in a good mood. I chose Sunday afternoon, on the way home from our ward choir practice. Then we were alone in the car for several minutes. All through choir I prepared myself and went over my speech in my head. In the car, I gave it to her, and she laughed. I didn’t get my book back until later that afternoon, but it still worked. I was really excited that now I could finish devouring it and enjoy the drive to Salt Lake to visit family.
What a cutie! Cheers to Erin and her mom. Also, here's more info about the webcast event: Join Shannon for a live webcast at Brooklyn Friends School to celebrate the release of Palace of Stone. Click here to register for the free event.