The Art of Choice


We live in a world of many many choices, yet when it comes to dealing with conflict we either offer too many, too few or not the right options. And that can lead to escalation.

Although we have several communication strategies we teach in the PeaceWalker approach, here are some tips I picked up along the way. 

Christmas reminds me of family and family reminds me of kids soooo...The example of today's tactic is for kids, but with minimal adjustment, it works equally well with adults too. 

The Art of Giving Choices

Giving people choices teaches them how to make decisions and develop their problem solving skills, shows them that their point of view is valued, and makes them feel more independent and in control of their lives.

Although children often throw tantrums and/or whine when parents set limits, inwardly children truly yearn for parents to set and enforce them. When this is done in a way that also allows children to feel a sense of agency and control, it’s a win/win situation for both parent and child. However, giving choices within limits is only effective when done within certain guidelines:

1. Don't give too many options. I would recommend just two choices.
2. Both choices must be ones you approve of.
3. Do not make one option a punishment. (NOT: Do what I want or else)
4. If your child(ren) does not choose within a reasonable period of time 
    (say 10-20 seconds), be prepared to make the choice yourself.
5. Help them decide, not argue or debate.

Here are some examples:

• Do you want to wear your coat or carry it?
• Do you want to leave the playground now or in 10 minutes?
• Do you want to wear your blue pajamas or your red ones?
• Do you want to brush your teeth with my toothpaste or this bubble gum flavor I just bought?
• Do you want milk or water with your dinner?

The trick is to build in so many choices for your child(ren) throughout the day that when you have to make a decision for him/her you can say, 

“I give you choices all the time but this is one of those times when I get to make the choice!"

Example: Mom/Dad: Do you want green beans or broccoli?

Kid: Neither!
Mom/Dad: We need a vegetable at dinner because they’re good for our bodies.
Kid: I don’t like vegetables (10 seconds pass!)
Mom/Dad: Okay, let’s have broccoli. (End of discussion!)

Ready to Go!?

Although there are many great communication tactics like this one, the real magic is what makes it work, the formula. 

And now's your chance!

A Simple Approach to Enjoying Life?!

Here's a simple approach to dealing with those difficult conversations - 

It's a free home study course, but you'll have to scroll down a little after clicking that link. 

It'll give you free access to show you a Simple 5 Step Solution to resolving verbal disputes. Discover a better way of communicating at home, work or school when dealing difficult, disrespectful, even dangerous people.

Keep going,


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