I have a very chatty little girl. A friend told me yesterday he thinks Lauren is "part-parrot." She can repeat almost any word you ask her to, which is quite hilarious. Yet somehow, through her rapidly expanding vocabulary, she seems really love one tiny little word: no.
All kids go through this, it seems. You can ask them a series of questions of you "do you want..." and the response is always no. You can say, "Let's go eat ice cream," and they walk away and say "no!" It's a little ridiculous and very frustrating.
That's where the magic of choice comes in. I didn't come up with this concept; it's one I've seen her teachers at child care employ with Lauren and other kids. Instead of telling Lauren to stop standing on the chair, I say, "Can you get down from the chair yourself, or do you need my help?" Honest to goodness, she got down from the chair. When I went to school yesterday, she was playing in one of those Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Cars. She loves that thing! I told her it was time to go, and she said, "No." I opened the car door, and she started spazzing. So I asked her, "Do you want to walk to the car, or do you want me to carry you?" She said, "Walk!" and came out of the toy car and towards the door so we could get in the real car. Lauren took the bait and selected a choice, even though the end result was going to be the same.
I tell ya. Choices are magical.