As kids develop their desire for freedom also grows. I was reminded of this while thinking about my chickens. Yes, I have chickens. They’re about 5 months old, and watching them develop from little chicks has been very interesting.
My husband calls their chicken coop “The Chicken Palace.” He’s right. It has water and electricity with a thermostat in case it gets too cold for them during the night. They have a spacious wire covered pen for safety, one side wet while the other side is covered. Then two other open pens that they can migrate to when I open their pen door. There’s even an automatic door that locks them in at night for safety. Aside from all that, they are let out for most of the day; hence they have pretty good life for being chickens.
But no matter what, they seek their freedom. Everyday, there are two or three that fly over the pen fence and roam the yard. It baffles me that they would want more room. I have come to accept that all creatures desire some sort of freedom.
Parents Can Give Away The Control They Don’t Need
Your kids too desire freedom. The easiest way to give them freedom is to share control with them. Offer them choices about things that do not matter to you: “Do you want to hold my right hand or my left hand?”
Do you really care how their room is decorated? Do you care which chair they sit in? No? Then instead of, “Sit down” try “Do you want to sit in this chair or this chair?” In other words, offer them choices about issues that directly impact them, but are not important to you.
Choices in Parenting: Why?
Why give all of these choices? What’s the point? Since these simple options you’re giving them are not important to you, its easy to offer around 20 choices a day. Doing this will make every regular request less stressful for you, and more empowering to them. You will notice less power struggles (fussing, arguing, etc…) and more bonding on a daily basis. Let them create, grow, fall and get up. There is no easier way to give freedom. To understand this concept more, here is an awesome, practical guide from Love and Logic to help you share control through choices. You can find more of my favorite resources here, or on one of my Pinterest boards.