How To Give Choices

Father and son erecting a tent
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Giving your teen choices is sometimes a lot easier than you think and sometimes much harder. The key is to think it through before you speak and always have the option of negotiation before the choice is made. Compromise always works.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: a lifetime

Here's How:

  1. Give options. Instead of asking, “What do you want for dinner?” and getting something you don’t have in your freezer, try “I can make spaghetti or meatloaf tonight. Which would you prefer?”

     

  1. Be prepared to hold to any choice they make. If you give your teen an offer, you must abide by their decision.

     

  2. If the choice is a major decision, take the time to talk about it. Give them some pros and cons and then let them own the decision.

     

Tips:

  1. If you are unable to give them the option they prefer, explain why once, and then let it go. Do not be pulled into a power struggle over something you cannot do.

     

  2. Parenting Quizzes for Parents of Teens

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