Preschool Pointers – 2: Take the Choice Away


We all know that one of the best tactics to keep a kid happy and on the right track with priorities in place is to offer them a choice as opposed to asking, “what do you want?” or instead of just giving them something and hearing a huge tantrum when they…didn’t want to eat that for breakfast, for instance. This way, they made the choice. So they can’t complain. Right? Wrong. But that’s not even what this post is about.

Giving a choice between two things is fine, the problem comes when the kids don’t accept those choices and ask for something else. Seems innocent enough. Oh, you don’t want a fruit bar or cereal…you’d rather a bagel? Okay. But don’t let them fool you. This is a trap. After three or four days of this, they start listing ludicrous alter choices, like ice cream and chocolate, and freaking out when you don’t give it to them. And if you try to direct them back to their two choices, they’re like, “bullshit! (not a direct quote), just yesterday, those two choices meant squat. They’re supposed to have meaning now?”

So then you (and by you, I mean I) open up the playing space a bit, give them more than two choices, in an attempt to get them back to your system. Another trap. You’ll soon find yourself listing off 20 different kinds of cereal, not once or twice, but dozens of times. Then the kids will ask you to choose for them. Then they’ll cray when you choose wrong. (TRAPS EVERYWHERE. Also, my kids are apparently spoiled to hell.)



About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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1 Response to Preschool Pointers – 2: Take the Choice Away

  1. mommyverse says:

    I’m so glad someone else is moving away from the “choice” model! I have been using it so conscientiously with my toddler that I recently discovered that I ask him more than I tell him — not a good thing when his answers increasingly become “No!” or, when he’s feeling gentler, “i’m okay, mommy” (read: I don’t want either thing you’re offering. Can’t you see I’m busy playing. Go bug my brother instead of me).

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