There are basically 3 guidelines for setting limits with choices. Choices are a way for us to empower our children. We expose them to the real world of responsibility by offering choices, lots of choices. I derived these guidelines from the “Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” materials.
1. Offer choices that you are happy with your child choosing.
Don’t give them choice A and B, hoping in fact that they choose A. With every choice you offer, you have to be happy with the outcome they decide.
2. Make sure that your child understands the choices being offered.
For example: When you tell them to clean their room, you need to know that the picture of the completed job in their mind matches the one in yours. Have you ever told your kid to clean their room and they finish in 3.5 seconds? There is NO WAY that room is clean that quickly, so be sure to clarify what you need.
3. You need to have a plan, to enforce your choices with consequences.
Your child is learning powerful lessons on personal responsibility and the consequences of their choices. We are still making choices in every situation, and those choices are bringing certain consequences into our lives.
When we show our children what the real world is like, we equip them to be aware of the fact that they are making choices all the time and we enable them to take responsibility for them.
Remember that in all of this, the key to protecting the heart of the matter is: Protecting the connection you have with your child.
The limits we set with our children will show them what the real world is like, but it is our heart connection with them, our love, that will motivate them to embrace the journey of responsibility and growth before them.
You can do this!
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