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Monday, July 29, 2013

Exceptions to the rule

We all know that giving children choices is a sound principle.  It helps them make decisions and learn about consequences.  There are a few instances however, when it probably isn't the best idea.

1. When you really can't honor their choice.  For example, if you're planning a vacation and know you have to go visit the grandparents, don't ask your kids for their input on where the family will go.  It's already arranged.  What you CAN do is announce that "this year the family is going to visit Grandma and Grandpa.  What are some things we might consider doing while we're there?"   Then get their ideas.

2. When there's more than one child and the decision will affect all.  For example, if you are with two children and you ask them if they want to go to McDonalds or Arbys, you can bet that one will say McDonalds and the other will say Arbys.  Then you're in the uncomfortable position of "siding" with one or the other.  Better to just say "We're going to Arbys.  You can have a roast beef sandwich or a chicken sandwich."

Kids have a way of complicating even our best intentions.  But's ok if you don't let them choose EVERYTHING.  We, as parents, can't choose everything either.


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