A Different Way to Teach Your Children

I am always questioning whether the way I educate my children is truly the best way. I read what other parents do and ask questions of my own on forums.

And then sometimes, when the kids are whinging and whining I try a different tact all my own and hope for the best. Yesterday morning gave opportune for this exact situation…

Master 4-and-2-thirds (in that annoying young child voice) “Dad, I’m hungry…”

Me “The whole country or just part of it?” (Sometimes humour breaks the mood)

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Just part of it, but I’m still hungry…”cadel eating

Me “Let me ask you this. How old are you?”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Four”

Me “At four years old you would say you’re a smart kid right?”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Yes”

Me “Okay then Mr Smarty, answer these questions… When a four year old is tired, what should he do?”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Go to bed and go to sleep.”

Me “When a four year old has dirty or sticky hands, what should he do?”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Wash them in the sink.”

 Me “When a four year old is hungry, what should he do?”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Ask a grown up if he can have something to eat…”

Me “You’re right. So……”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Dad, can I please have something to eat?” (I didn’t even ask about manners, but both boys are well trained in using them).

Me “Yes you can. And what would you like?”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Ummmmm……” (Time lapse > 5 minutes in the future)

Me “Yes……….”

Master 4-and-2-thirds “Ummmmm……”

Next week’s lesson; how to make quick decisions…

4 thoughts on “A Different Way to Teach Your Children

  1. I’m working on it. I’m still not truly successful with it. Maybe throwing out 2 garbage bags of toys might make them start making the fast decisions…

    “Do you want to keep this toy? Quick or it’s in the bag…

  2. A psychologist friend of mine helped me out with the decision-making process … (BTW it was shared by her with me as a friend and not in her professional capacity). Decision making is only as efficient as your knowledge of choices. A newborn infant has no awareness of what’s out there, and s/he cannot make a choice. He ate/drank what he was given … period. At one, 1-1/2, their world has expanded, so YOU as the parent present them with an option of .. .let’s say, what’s for breakfast. “How about cocoa puffs for breakfast today?” or “I’m having a bagel for breakfast, wold you like one, too? Boom! The child is now aware of something that’s available and most likely, s/he’ll agree. At two to three, you present them with two choices and let them decide. “Would you rather have scrambled eggs or a bagel for breakfast?” This allows them to participate in the decision, but doesn’t leave the whole realm of possibilities open. Their minds will mull over and over EVERY possibility and never come to a decision. Then, depending on the maturity of the child, around 4 or 5, you can allow them to choose. By this age, they are aware of what “breakfast” consists of and their minds have created an options list, so to speak, of the half dozen or so choices for breakfast.
    Before I started doing this with Andrew, I would ask, “what do you want for lunch?” He would stand at the open refrig, and gaze around. I’m thinking, “OK, he’s checking out his options.” Wrong! Inevitably, he would always want something that WASN’T there!
    Maybe it won’t work for every child, but it made perfect sense and worked for us. Also, because you retain degrees of control depending on the number of choices you offer, I applied it to other circumstances of daily life. But that’s another blog! Have a great day, everyone! Karen

  3. We generally do that too, but to create a comical set up for this blog (yes I sometimes do that to our kids) I gave him the option. We always give him a choice of only two things. The way we do it is like this;

    “Do you want toast for breakfast”


    “Do you want cereal?”


    “Okay, then I’m making you some toast…”

    Works almost every time…

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