Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You can choose

I really like to give choices to my kids. In theory, it empowers them and makes them feel in control of things. Give two choices that you are comfortable with and let them make the decision. I'm not sure why my children don't subscribe to the theory, because it is a great one. But the reality of choice-giving in this house is far from the theoretical ideal.

With Abigail, my master negotiator, it goes something like this:

Mom: You can have the red cup or the green cup. You choose.
Abigail: I want the YELLOW cup! I love the yellow cup. Pleasepleasepleaseplease can I have the yellow cup?? The yellow is my favorite! (Now starting to yell at me) GIVE ME THE YELLOW CUP! I ONLY LIIIIIKKKKEEEE YEEELLLLLOOOOWWWW!!!!!
Mom: ...

With Aidan it goes like this:

Mom: You can wear blue pants or tan pants to church. You choose.
Aidan: (Immediately starting to yell and cry) I NO LIKE BUMPY PANTS!!! I ONLY LIKE SOFT PANTS!!! (Soft pants are sweat pants, which are allowed every.single.day. except at church)

With Jack, I get this:

Mom: You can have milk right now or you can have milk at bedtime but not both. You choose.
Jack: (quietly sneaks away without saying a word, waits until I'm not looking, then gets milk whenever the heck he wants it).

And now they are turning the tables on me. Last night I had this conversation with Abigail:

Abigail: Mommy, I can watch tv or stay up late tonight. You choose.
Mom: I already said no tv, and you may not stay up late tonight. So I choose neither.
Abigail: MOM! CHOOSE ONE! WATCH TV OR STAY UP LATE! YOU CHOOOOOOSE!!!

And just now Aidan came in after playing in the very wet, post-rainstorm backyard. He wanted me to change his wet clothes so he could go play again. And we had this conversation:

Mom: I don't want to change you into new clothes while you are still playing outside. You can play outside in your already dirty clothes, or I can change you into clean clothes and you can stay inside. You choose.

Aidan: NO! I want new clothes and play outside. You change my clothes, I go outside, or I hit you. You choose.

Somehow this love and logic is starting to backfire on me.

15 comments:

Merilee said...

That is so funny, and yet not so funny at the same time! Don't you love it how you are going along just fine, and then they learn to talk...and with talking they get an opinion & an ATTITUDE! I am glad that I am not the only one!

Adam and Lisa said...

At least they give you choices. I mean you could have changed Aidan's clothes AND he hits you. Of course that never happens, right?

Jen said...

Can I just say that I'm glad to hear that this doesn't really work with your kids either. Mine don't seem to like it and it's never really worked around here. I tried it for awhile when they were your kids' ages and ended up with the same kinds of reactions. Where are these kids that made them think this would actually work???

ali said...

I am laughing out loud right now! So funny! I went to a Love and Logic seminar once, and I have to say, I found a few flaws too. Kids are too dang funny (you know, when they aren't yours)

Mary Kate said...

thanks for the laugh! I remember getting those choices given to me!

The Petersons said...

This cracks me up!! "I can watch tv or stay up late tonight. You choose." Now THAT is one smart little girl!

Lisa said...

Hahahahahaha! Your kids are so funny!

(Just have to say in answer to some of the comments that choices do mostly work with my kids. When they don't want to make a choice, I just repeat the choice until they make one. It doesn't always work, but a lot of times it does.)

mommymuse said...

Oh, that is so funny! You've got some smart little whippersnappers there!

Shanna said...

It did dawn on my as I wrote this and read the comments that maybe the choices I give them are about as appealing as the ones they give me. :)

Erika said...

I am laughing so hard!!

musing said...

I love this so much I submitted it to Schmutzie's Five Star Friday. :)

juliejulie said...

You can have perfect, robot kids who never quite get it, or smarty- pants kids who grow up to be just like you and make the rest of the world laugh. You choose...

Jen said...

This made me LOL. I guess it gives me something to look forward to.

~SHANNON~ said...

That is the funniest thing!!! ROFL. Thanks for sharing:)

Vivienne said...

OK. You tried to give them choices. You tried to make them a part of the decision making process. You tried to make them feel they were part of the process.

It's time to declare a dictatorship!
:)