Tell the Truth about Choice:
"A parent tells her child, You have to get dressed right now.
Mom keeps up the reminders even while daughter continues to jump on the
bed instead of getting dressed. Clearly, the child doesn't have to get dressed. More accurately, there will be consequences if she doesn't."
"Parents talk about their own lives in the same way: I have to take Timmy to school. I have to pick up Kelly after work. I have to go shopping. How does it feel when you say these thing? What messages about life do your children receive when they hear how much you have to
do? The truth is, you don't have to do any of those things. It's just
that there will be consequences for whichever choice you make."
"Consider telling yourself and your kids the truth about choice. When you catch yourself thinking or saying. I should (or have to or must) eat more healthily, or get more rest, or have more fun or just listen to the kids without reacting. Notice how you feel when you tell yourself the truth about choice."
"To get clear about the choices you have, make a list of Things I Choose.
Some examples of things to include on this list are: what I wear, what I
eat, how I spend my time, who I spend my time with, and how I spend
"Next, make a list of Things Others Choose for Me.
Other can include parents, families, employer, community, church or
government. When you have completed this list, take a moment to consider
each entry to see whether, in fact, you do have choice in these
situations. For instance, if you say that your parents decide how you
spend your holidays, consider the choice you have to go along with your
parents' ideals or to do something else."
~Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson
Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids