Sunday, March 28, 2010

Choose Ye This Day

So did you know that I am a CONTROL FREAK?

Real shocker - I know.

I really like to know every detail. And it is kind of lame. I really do want to be a little more laid back about life and a little easier going but it is such a hard habit to break.

I am even worse when it comes to my kids and their lives. I really like to plan it all out. So this week I have been working on giving choices. In Love and Logic (are you sick of these posts yet?), they teach the importance of choices and giving control back to the kids. Yikes. See that is totally opposite of my style. But it makes so much sense.

The teacher asked us to think of a recent situation where we felt we were being bossed around or had no control. We hate it. Right? Imagine being my kid. They are bossed around all day long. No fun. I am grateful I have such good kids and they pretty much go along with me. But I am creating kids who don't know how to make choices for themselves and recognize the consequences attached with those choices.

So even from Quinn's age they can start making choices. You pick two choices - either one has to be a choice you are completely happy with. Do you want to wear boots or squeaky shoes? Do you want your purple coat or your blue coat? Do you want yogurt or bananas? You get it.

But for the older kids it gets even harder for me. I like to have this after school routine and I don't like to mess it up. But instead I was saying things like, "feel free to change your clothes first or have a snack first?" "would you like to play first or get your homework done first?" "would you rather get your reading down first or shower first?"

The result - is less battles. The kids feel like they have control in their life. And another result is that the price they pay for decisions today is a lot less then they will pay for their choices tomorrow. I would much rather have my kids not complete a homework assignment today and learn the lesson of procrastinating then wait until they are seniors and not be able to graduate.

Jim Fay (founder of Love and Logic) says, "The more control we give over things that DON'T matter, the more control we can have over the things that DO matter."

I have a long way to go in giving up some of the control. Give it a try.

"Quinn, you can either smile or cry for this picture in your cute new dress?"

PS - my neighbor even uses it on her husband - "would you like to do the dishes or sweep the floor?"


Angie said...

I love it, thanks for sharing all these great ideas. I think I would have a hard time too! Sometimes it is so much easier to just make the decision rather than wait for your kid to think about it. But it's so good for them. What a good momma you are.

David said...

There are just too many comments I can make to your PS entry, but I am afraid your blog would lose its G rating.