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?