The Choice Method

I get asked quite often “How do you get your kids to listen to you?” or “They didn’t fight you on that?” The answer is no and here is why, I give them a choice in everything! Don’t get me wrong, we still butt heads occasionally , but it would be chaos without this method.

I have dubbed it “The Choice Method”

a fine print tip in parenting

Let me break that down a little more. Think about your day to day routine. From how many times you hit the snooze, how loud you turn up the radio, when you reply to a text, all the way to what time you actually go to bed. You are making a choice in your every move. It is no secret that humans like to have control over what happens to them, whether they think they have it or not. Children or no different than you or I. They want to have that same control in their choices.

Children or no different than you or I.

Some parents find themselves rushing to make this change and tip the scale. In my experience, in order for this to work you have to have balance. You can not just start letting your children make every single choice without guidance. Especially if this is a new thing to your home. You are their parent and it is your job to steer them to make the right choices. You also have to remember that even with this method, kids will be kids.

In reality here is how it goes. You maintain control over all situations and decisions. To do this, you limit the number of choices you give. Think about how overwhelmed we get when we have too much on our plate or choices in front of us on a menu. That is brain overload for children! What has worked for me is I tend to give three choices. Two choices, that vary but both I am 100% okay with them choosing. For example, it is bedtime. I give them a choice of ” you can go to bed now or in five minutes.” Do not give a choice that you are not okay with. All that leads to is friction between all involved. The third choice I always give is “or mommy can make the choice for you”.

The third choice I always give is “or mommy can make the choice for you”.

It is so important to include that last choice. At the end of the day you are still in charge. Yes we want our children to grow up and be happy, self empowering and strong individuals. But hold the phone, because while they are still wanting to eat gum from under a desk, can’t wipe their own butt and throw a fit if their sibling looks at them. Just a few reasons why you have to maintain control and can’t just let them do it alone. Don’t forget that you are still raising them and they need guidance to make the right choices, by having you (as their parent) help them see which ones those are to make.

I hope this is helpful in your household as it has been in mine. Parenthood all boils down to mutual respect, you need to give it to them to get it back. It shouldn’t be expected just because you are raising them. After you try the “choice method” come back and tell me how it has worked for you!

til next time ~ xo Diana