Thoughts About Children and Multiple Choices

I believe in giving my children choices. It teaches them how to make choices; good vs. bad choices; rewards and consequences; and accountability.

But, yesterday, I learned a lesson: I detest multiple choice. It is a tricky business that must be taught with care. Any slip-up can give a child the upper hand …

Riff was sent to timeout for acting out inappropriately. I set the timer to four minutes. He didn’t comply. Privileges were being taken away.

So, I asked …

Do you want to follow the rules and watch television after school; or screw around?

Isn’t the right choice obvious? What child would want to miss their favorite TV show?

Riff said, “Screw around!”

It was the choice that sounded right to him. To Riff, getting television privileges and toys taken away paled in comparison to jumping off the timeout step.

Damn! Now what?

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts About Children and Multiple Choices

  1. That’s usually when I say, “You and daddy can work it out when he gets home…” The cold shoulder is also extremely effective. If all else fails, I lock myself in my room and find some blog to read where someone else’s “peanut” is doing something worse than mine!

    • My dynamic would require going with your third option. Whenever I start enforcing rules, both of mine go to their dad. He’s easier than me. They also know how to penetrate the cold shoulder. I need to hire that supernanny.

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