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Major Advice from a Mini-Marketer

January 29, 2010


As I crawled into bed last night and reflected on the day, I realized my three-year-old may be small in stature, but somehow he has already mastered some big marketing concepts. Following are a few areas he has reinforced for me lately:

Whether a request is aimed at my husband or me, somehow our son knows which tone works best, which buttons to push and when to pull out the tears. And it’s probably because he’s studied us, talked to us and knows us best. Lesson: Know your audience.

Some of the words we frequently hear at our house are “mine,” “no” and “faster.” It’s amazing how saying one word can so clearly express exactly what he’s thinking. There’s no need to add anything else to make the message stronger. Lesson: Keep it simple.

The good and bad news about three-year- olds is that they don’t have a filter, so they can be very direct with their communication. If they say they’re not going to bed, then they’ll pretty much pull out all the tricks to avoid closing their eyes. You’ll hear a laundry list of excuses – “Just one more book,” “I need a glass of water,” or “I forgot to brush my teeth,” – but the message is the same. Sleep is not happening.
Lesson: Have a clear message.

I think it’s inbred in children to really, really want almost anything – especially if it’s a toy, candy or access to a dangerous, death trap. When our son really wants something, he asks for it over, and over and over until you get to the point that you pre-empt his asking with the, “I know. You want the orange car with the blue stripes that you saw at Target for your birthday.”
Lesson: Repetition is key.

While these may seem basic, sometimes we have to remind ourselves to get back to basics and not over-think things.  Has anyone else had an “aha moment” from an unlikely source like I have? Please share your words of wisdom with me.

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