Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Parenting Tip #1 Provide Choices, Choices, and more Choices!!! (And how I got my child to go to school!)

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I DO NOT pretend to know all the answers when it comes to parenting. But, every once in a while I find something that works! Hooray!!! As I mom, I'm always eager to hear about tips that have worked for other parents, so please feel free to comment and share your tips with me too. And when something works for me, I'll also do my best to post the tip here.

PARENTING TIP #1 PROVIDE CHOICES, CHOICES, AND MORE CHOICES!!!!
                                          (And how I got my child to go to school!)
                        
If you have a strong-willed child like I do, you understand how important it is to allow your child to have some control over their world. You can do this by offering choices to them, instead of telling them what to do. Ultimately, you will only be offering choices that work for you, so it ends up being a win-win. Your child will feel like they have some control, and the problem is solved without a HUGE fight, which makes everyone happy!!!

Here's an example of how offering choices recently worked for me and my child...

MY SON: "Mom, I don't want to go to school today."
ME: "That's fine. You don't have to go school today. I'm not sure if your teacher will be ok with that or not. If your teacher says that you can stay home from school, than you can stay home. Would you like to go to school a little early and meet with your teacher to ask her if you can stay home today, or would you just like to go to school instead?"
MY SON: "I want to meet with my teacher before school."
ME: "Ok."
(About 10 minutes later)
MY SON: "Mom, what do you think my teacher will say when I ask her if I can stay home?
ME: I think she will say that she would miss you if you were gone, and that you would miss your friends and all the important activities of the day. She might also tell you that it is the law for children to go to school.  She might ultimately say that if you aren't sick, you have to be at school."
(5 minutes later)
MY SON: "I think I will just go to school."
ME: "Good choice."

In the past, my son and I have battled this war numerous times. We were always fighting because I was taking an authoritative approach and my son felt like he had no control in the situation. Offering him choices solved the problem. He made a choice to school, and everyone in our household had pleasant morning that day.

I sincerely hope offering choices works for you too!

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