Guide Your Child with Choices.

e3In the previous post (Developing a Positive Communication Style.) I mentioned that it’s a good idea to avoid putting your child in a position where he feels the urge to offer resistance. A double bind is a great way of preventing resistance and guiding your child.

What is a double bind?

A double bind creates the illusion of choice. There is usually two parts (questions) to a double bind. Both parts give you the outcome you want but seem to allow your child a choice. You can even expand the bind to incorporate three choices or more.

If you don’t give your child a choice it may lead to resistance. Let me give you an example. Say, it is your intention that your child has a fruit with lunch. “Sally, do you want an orange with your lunch?” Now if Sally says “No.” to this question it will be easier for her to say “no” to following questions such as, “Well do you want banana?”, and so forth. (I will explain this in a later post).

Choice will reduce the chance that your child will resist. For example, “Sally do you want an orange with your lunch or would you rather have a banana?”. You are giving her a choice but still getting what you want.

As children grow older and become more analytical (stronger critical faculty) you may need to hide the double bind with a question or statement after the bind. For example, “Sally do you want an orange with your lunch or would you rather have a banana? Then you can have lots of energy to play with your friends!”

By using descriptive language as I have discussed in a previous post (Exciting Your Child’s Imagination) you can make the choice more compelling. For example, “Sally do you want a sunny orange with your lunch or would you rather have a smiley banana?

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