Thursday, July 19, 2012

There's Always A Choice

          There’s always a choice.  I know some of you might disagree (so you might want to stop reading!)  But I’m sticking to my guns.  There’s always a choice (leaving out life threatening situations.)
          As a parent, I narrow it down to two choices:  Play downstairs or outside? Blue shirt or red shirt? Thomas or Bob the Builder?  My mother calls me the “Great Negotiator.”  She sees it as a negative.  She thinks I offer a toddler too many choices.  But I am instilling a life lesson: there’s always a choice. 
          By allowing two selections, I simultaneously allow decision making to occur while carefully controlling the situation.  I call this “forced choice.”  A-HA! you say.  I still have ultimate control of the situation.  Well, yes, he IS only three!
          I also apply this principle in my classroom:  work at your desk or on the rug; choose between these three books; choose between these four centers.  Wait!  You are giving them more than two choices!  Of course I am.  They are eight and nine.
          Now to the adult world:  Should I work out or not? Watch the news or something in the DVR? Eat this or that? (Oops! Someone already wrote that book!)
          You get the point.  So why does this matter to me?  Some of you might be asking.  Others are laughing, saying, “He, he, I know Jess.  She can really get frustrated at times!”  You’re absolutely right.  Those feelings, too, are a choice.  I can get ticked off or count to ten…or better yet…I can write a blog post!   


  1. Ugh - my mom used to ask, "do you want to clean the downstairs bathroom or the upstairs bathroom?" Clever woman. You are, too!

    1. HEHE Nancy! My brother and I had a similar choice each weekend...dust or vacuum?

  2. Offering choices to a toddler makes life so, so much easier. My daughter did not like being told what she would wear, etc. Choices were the only way to go. Now, she's an easy-going eighteen-year-old. Thank goodness!

    Great post--loved it. Thanks :-)

  3. Thanks Lynda! Right now easy-going doesn't exactly describe him...but here's to hoping! :)