Today we’re gonna talk about something to try with your kids at home, but also kind of words to live by as well.
So one of the ways to make sure that you aren’t getting embroiled in struggle with your kids is to give them choices. You can start doing this with your children when they are very very small and probably toddler age, maybe even a little bit before that. And that can be really small things, like holding up two books and saying things like “ which book do you want to read ?” and have them touch the book that they would like to read. And that often would give you new information about your kid. Never tell them things like “here’s the whole bookshelf, pick a book from here “.NO! Never do that. Same with things like shirts or pants, you can say: “this shirt or this shirt ? “ and have them choose between the two.
For some kids, it’s not great, even if they’ve ever given a choice, they still want to go to the closet and pick one. But often giving them limited choices is super helpful, because it gives them a sense of control and power in their lives, and it gives them an opportunity to be able to make decisions and that is really what you want to help them grow over time.
So only giving your kids a choice if it really needs a choice, so if they absolutely have to wear a specific outfit, don’t give them a choice. Or if you only want to read a book don’t give them a choice.
You can also use this in kind of a tricky way which is saying something like: “ do you want to get it out of the shower in 1 or 2 minutes ?” and the kid will think to himself and he’ll think “oh two minutes, I’m winning because I’m getting more time“. So using those kinds of limited choices in that way can be really helpful.
we have to let our kids have natural consequences, let them decide so giving and give them choices to let them think and have do things they want to do instead of making them obliged to do things and then not wanting to do them. It gives them an opportunity to get to know themselves and understand what the process is of making decisions. So as they get older, some of those decisions might be a little bit more important or bigger decisions. Its also important to do this around things like sports or activities, like saying “do you want to do soccer or baseball ?“ and leaving it up to them. The family rule might be more about doing physical activity because it’s important to be in motion, but don’t dictate and say “you must do X or you have to do Y“ or those kinds of things because that then can often lead to a power struggle. Just give them the choice within a limit instead of saying ‘NO’.
So that’s just something to try with your kids, giving them limited choices can be super effective in teaching them how to make decisions. But also making it so that you’re not in power struggles so those are some things to try at home and some words to think about and live by. Give them choices and only