“Do you want to read your new book, work on math, or just chill for 10 minutes?”
“Are you going to get your breakfast this morning, or would you like me to?”
Giving kids choices is an excellent way to introduce kids to their own power – not unlimited power, but power within a defined structure, a structure that they can handle. With choices, a child is given the opportunity to think, explore the options, and imagine.
But it gets even better. Giving kids choices gives kids the opportunity to be responsible for their choices and actually see and experience the consequence of their choice. The icing on the cake is that they get to see that if they don’t like the consequence of their choice, they have the power to choose differently and change their choice to something that they do like.
How much better can life get?! Every step of the way, your child is thinking, taking responsibility for her or his actions, learning to be self-directed and learning that life is what we choose to make of it – it is not something that is “done to us”. Rather, we are very powerful. We hold the brush that paints the canvas of our lives.
Kids who get to make a lot of choices are kids who feel powerful. Whenever you find yourself in a struggle with your child, figure out how you can give your child more power in that situation by structuring the situation with choices.