31 March 2006

'Bad or worse'

We've talked before about the wisdom of giving kids (especially toddlers) reasonable choices instead of simply saying "no." On his blog, Patrick documents his version of the "give them choices" mantra.

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Here's a comment I made on a previous post. I believe it has relevancy here:

With my kids, I ask them to do something. If they don't want to, I tell them why I want it done, and if that doesn't move them, I tell them how I would feel if it were done and if it weren't done, and then I tell them that the choice is theirs, and that I'll love and respect them regardless of their choice. They always do what I want them to do. No yelling, no guilt, no shame, just honest admission of my feelings. Seriously, it works every time. Maybe I have Stepford kids, and if that is the case, hey, yay for our team. But I have also tried this on other kids who stay at our house and it works for them as well. Your mileage may vary.

Allow me to amend the above. This doesn't work *all* the time. Sometimes I have to resort to threats of punishment or threats of the loss of privileges.

I mean to suggest that the idea of choices is excellent, but that I couple it with candid emotional detailing. Again, this may not be for everyone.

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