Our job is to let the children make their own choices from the environment we have created for them. There are boundaries set, and they are free to choose – within those boundaries.
Example: Tony has his hat on, and your policy is that hats are worn outside. You know that if you ask him to hang up his hat, he’s going to balk and say, “No, I want to wear it.” There’s an arguement you don’t need. So set it up so he gets to choose – “Tony, hats are for outside, remember? Would you like to put it on your hook or in your cubby?” Your boundaries, his choice. (Remember, this isn’t really magic. He may balk anyway. My response would be, “Please choose now, or I’ll choose.” Still balking? Count down from 5. Remember: calm, positive, frontal lobe.)
Choices are something to use all day! Children love to be in charge, and they should be – within your limits. “Would you like to paint that picture or color it with markers?” “Would you like me to help you with your shoes or would you like to do it yourself?” “Would you like me to read with you or do you want to read with Ann?” Choices are great! (Don’t credit card commercials always say that?)