During the times when life seems to roll over and crush me, I find personal strength in considering my choices. By recognizing options, I find that I can mobilize myself into positive behaviors. I believe children experience the same empowerment when provided legitimate choices concerning behaviors. Isn’t that what we really want? Don’t we want our children and grandchildren to identify positive choices that propel them toward healthy growth? Instead of controlling or manipulating children, we can provide opportunities for them to either make good choices or live with the consequences.
Allowing a child to determine choices reduces resistance and promotes self-responsibility. Create choices that offer genuine positive and acceptable alternatives. Saying, You may listen or lose your treat offers no choice at all. Stretch your own thinking to offer real, legitimate choices that do not involve punishment and will be agreeable to both you and the child. Keep in mind that you do not have to punish a child to effectively redirect. The following examples suggest types of acceptable choices. Continue reading