What and how to give kids choices to listen and learn? 2 Simple Behavior Tips for Moms

Updated: Aug 12

Kids do best when you give them a choice, but people think that's not good. Rather, we have this misconception that immediately kids are supposed to understand and do what we tell them.

But what if you knew that they needed help to understand rather than anger? Like someone who can’t read because they need glasses. You’d get them glasses first right?

The same is with children’s behavior.

So what if I told you that with one small change you can get kids to do what you want and how you want it?

That’s where teaching with choice is so useful. But in order for it to be effective you have to know they understand and can do it, and that’s why you should know the WHAT and HOW to give kids choices to listen and learn.

1. Make choices they can do on their own, or have emotionally experienced it before.

Children have limited practice. Give them practice to try the choices at times when there is no pressure. For example, let’s play “Act like an animal”. I’m going to hop like a bunny. What do you want to do? Then later on when it’s time to transition to somewhere like going to lunch, you can offer a choice you know they can do and understand. Do you want to hop to the table or run like a cheetah?

2. Give choices that you can live with.

Sometimes I’ve heard people say, if you don’t do it by the time I count to 10 I’m going to put you on time out. And then later on what happens? The parent is paying for the choice. Later on, the consequence takes up more of the adult time to reinforce the result of that choice.

That’s why it’s useful to come up with a list of choices you can live with. For example, if you can hop like a bunny, run like a cheetah, or I will carry you.

To learn more download this guidebook to get Behavior You Love!