Crisis negotiation, as defined by our friends at Wikipedia, is “a law enforcement technique used to communicate with people who are threatening violence (workplace or domestic violence, suicide, or more rarely, terrorism), including barricaded subjects, stalkers, criminals attempting to escape after a botched robbery, and most famously, hostage-takers.”
According to the FBI Agent Education webpage, a Crisis Negotiator does these things when called onto the scene of a crisis:
- Assess the major actors within a crisis situation in order to determine propensity for violence and willingness to dialogue
- Discretely enter crisis zones and initiate dialogue with terrorists and criminals
- Endure extended periods of dialogue and crisis management
So with all of THIS in mind, here are the ten times you felt EXACTLY like a Crisis Negotiator with your toddler:
1.) When she got a hold of an uncapped permanent marker and had that crazy look in her eye.
2.) When he got the top off of his sippy cup filled with milk or juice and was holding it with two lazy fingers haphazardly over carpet/upholstered furniture/expensive technology.
3.) When he was standing with your laptop/tablet/phone in his clenched hands and was just one distraction away from dropping it, throwing it, or submerging it in liquid.
4.) When she got into your makeup bag and you saw flashes of smashed lipstick, foundation poured out, crumbled up blush dust, mascara flushed down the toilet–and you knew that your poor bathroom’s cleanliness and $40(?) worth of makeup were on the line.
5.) When you both were all dry and dressed after a few hours at the pool and he was standing at the edge again, swirling his toe in the water and thinking those devious thoughts.
6.) Whenever she has hold of her helpless baby sibling with that tight grip that can only be removed with a pry bar or sugary bribes.
7.) When it was the middle of the night and your toddler got out of bed, and you were desperate for sleep, but he insisted on something ridiculous (like, let’s go to Grandma’s house RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I HAVE TO.)
8.) Whenever you’re in a public restroom and you’re sitting on the toilet and you can’t reach your toddler to stop him from unlocking the door and swinging it open for the whole world to see your business.
9.) When you were at that play date and you spotted another kid taking a toy from your toddler and you could actually see the rage boiling in his eyes. His hand drew back for the slap and it was like slow motion as you attempted to intervene in your toddler’s attempt at justice.
10.) When you had twenty bags of groceries on your two trembling arms (because who has time for multiple trips?!) and your toddler decides to sit down. right. in. front. OF THE DOOR.
So there you have it: ten times your toddler threatened violence, barricaded subjects, attempted to escape, or took hostages–when he or she had the upper hand and all of the power. And you had to channel your inner special agent and negotiate your way through the crisis.
My hat’s off to you, brave one, press on. The public appreciates your skilled and dedicated service.
What did I miss? When have YOU felt like a crisis negotiator with your toddler? I’d love to hear. Comment below!
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