My son and I have been talking a lot about choices lately. A few nights ago we were sitting at the dinner table. Our conversation sounded a little something like this: “Logan, you need to sit down and eat your dinner. You don’t have a choice.” “Yes, I do Mommy. I have agency. I always have a choice!” Pretty deep conversation for a three year old, at least I know he’s been listening!
But little Logan was right, in everything we do we do have a choice, however, with every choice we make there is a consequence for that choice. Our children know all about bad consequences, but it is equally important to remind them that there are good consequences too. Talk to them about both kinds of consequences and make sure they know the difference. Try having them brainstorm some good and bad consequences with you.
Logan and I have been talking a lot about making good choices. To help him understand the difference we’ve come up with a fun little game. I have a jar sitting on the corner of the desk in our room. Every time he makes a good choice, like listening to Mommy the first time, or picking up his toys, he gets to put a little rock into our “Good Choices” Jar. If he makes a bad choice, like not doing what Mommy says, or throwing his toys, he has to take a rock out of our jar. When the jar is all filled he gets to choose a prize. This could be anything from going out to ice cream, to picking out a toy at the toy store. Being able to put a rock in the jar makes him feel good about the choices he made. We all need a little extra push to make the right choice every once in a while. For us, it’s as simple as a rock in a jar.