Switching to questions can switch up everything
Every time I find myself in a constant “battle of the wills” or I start hearing the relentless push backs of “NO!,” I stop and audit my questions – yes, MY questions.
How many decisions are my kids getting to make each day?
I know that we are the adults, the caregivers. We are in charge. We are the captains of this ship. But let’s consider things from our kids’ perspectives, especially our young kids: they are told what to do, when to do it, how to do it all day long.
Personally speaking, that would be hard for me. I happen to really like making my own decisions.
So often with little kids, we get into this “battle of wills” because kids have lost every battle, so now they’re just going to fight them all. The simple truth is: they need a win every now and then. They need some control. They need some autonomy, some choices. This doesn’t mean we roll over or let them have their way in really crummy situations or because of an epic tantrum… instead, think of this as proactive parenting.⠀⠀
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And we can do this by asking questions.
Give them choices… choices you can live with and choices that don’t topple your systems. Simple choices that have no real bearing on your life but the very act of making that choice (instead of being told what to do) can have a huge impact on theirs: Yellow shoes or red shoes? Strawberry or raspberry jam? Cut or uncut?”
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Make a list today of tiny decisions you can give your child. Turn off the autopilot and fill your child’s bucket with some autonomy. Consider things like:
- Breakfast foods (do you want jam or butter on your toast?)
Limit to two choices and always make them choices you can live with.
Let them have some say. Let them have some power over their life. Let them be heard.
Suddenly, they don’t need to go to battle over everything because they’ve had lots of mini-wins throughout the day. They have ownership over their life and that must feel so amazing.
The power of questions… a small offer of choice, a small yes from us, and it unlocks a big impact for our kids.