Try this experiment. Instead of asking your children to pick up their room or mow the lawn or to do their homework, put a commanding tone in your voice and command them to do it.
Can you just see the attitude that creeps into their countenance; the hardened glint in their eye, the crossed arms, the rebellious stance, the ‘that’s what you think’ toss of the head.
I know what you are thinking – giving our kids choices takes time and creativity and I don’t have either most of the time. Just try some of these choice templates on for size. Notice how each of these choice statements gives our children an explicit or an implied choice.
“Feel free to either wear your _______ or carry it.”
“You can do your chores any time you want as long as they are done before ________.”
“Be my guest to watch T.V. after you are done with your homework.”
“I would love to give you a ride when your teeth are brushed.”
“Feel free to get up from the table when you have finished your ____________.”
“You can wear your green jacket or your red one, which one would you like to wear?”
“You can either settle down in the back seat or get out and walk, which will it be?”
How do those feel? Do you think you could employ them in your home? How would your kids react?
You will get your kids thinking rather than arguing with you. One caution though, don’t let your kids derail you into some sidebar argument. Just keep repeating these statements that allow choice over and over until they give up and decide they had better get away from this crazy parent.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents because it provides the Big Story of God’s wonderful plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.