Should We Allow our Kids to Make More Decisions?
The Rule of 2 Choices & a Goal
As my father always said, “Kids are people too”. He was always very attentive and respectful of children the same way he would be with adults. He was right – kids are people too, in fact, there are so many ways where children are like little adults. They mimic, imitate, and want to be like adults. For example, kids like to have choices just as we do, so why not let them have them? Let’s give them the freedom to choose which two chores they want to do each day. (With the Discipline Solution System) Children are required to take on 2 chores per day. If they do this, they will earn enough privileges to do what they want within reason.
Adding a Goal to the Equation
Giving a child two choices along with a goal will help keep the arguing between you and the child to a minimum. For example: There have been times when I’ve found myself going round and round with my child. The child would try to argue that he or she should or shouldn’t do something (teenagers are notorious for this). So one day, I gave my child two choices only and did not deter from it. When the child came back with an argumentative comment, I would simply state the words “Two choices”. (The choices were, either get fined and be grounded – or - do what you are told and earn privileges.) I will let you guess what her choice was. So, whenever any of my kids tried to find another way around it or give some kind of excuse or reasoning why they shouldn’t have to do what they have been told, I would simply repeat those two words. It took a few times, but eventually they got the point. When they are given just two choices like this, the options for the child to argue diminish. It’s pretty amazing how this works. Try it and see for yourself.
Along with two choices, adding a goal is also beneficial in getting a child on track. Try having them set a goal for something they want, such as a trip to the amusement park, a new PlayStation game, or going skating with friends. If a child has a goal, he or she will be more likely to do what it takes to get there. For example: If a child really wants to go skating with friends, he or she needs to do enough chores to go. Therefore, the goal would be to do enough chores in order to earn the privileges they want. Whenever children attempt to stray from the rules, just remind them of their goal(s) and what they need to do in order to get there. This will help give the child a boost in the right direction without a bunch of begging, nagging, pleading or yelling.