Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Many parents these days are giving their children choices instead of just laying down the law. It's smart parenting. For example, just last night my daughter decided she didn't want to take a bath (which she really needed and usually asks to have). If I forced her to take her bath, the situation would just become confrontational and frustrating. But, by giving her a choice-take a bath or go to bed-she feels in control and the battle is disengaged. My daughter decided she wanted to go to bed. Luckily, she realized she didn't like that choice. She told me she was sorry and that she'd like a bubble bath, please. I thanked her and made sure she knew what a good choice she made.
During the process of potty training, I'd tell my daughter to go to the bathroom every couple of hours because she didn't always tell me when she had to go. She became annoyed so I gave her a choice-do you want mommy or daddy to take you to the bathroom. Choices can be given in many situations-just be smart about them. When I first started this type of parenting, I didn't think things through very well. In one instance, my daughter was coloring and had crayons scattered everywhere. When she was done, I told her she needed to clean up her crayons or go to time out. She chose time out-leaving me to clean up the crayons!

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