Giving Choices

Choose one:

Vacuum or Laundry?

Even if you didn't want to do either, you were still able to choose right?

Please wash the dishes tonight.
I did it yesterday!
I hate washing up.

Does this happen often in your household?

Here is a simple strategy to MOTIVATE your child and build up their independence in managing their time and responsibilities.

Watch the video for more examples 

Choices mean a minimum of at least 2 activities are available, and they are free to choose whichever. Because the child took the first step and made a choice, they are more willing to follow through with their choice. It also promotes independence in task initiation, planning, and organizing their time wisely.

Depending on your child's language level, you can simply ask them what they want, show them real objects or pictures, and see which one they reach for.

Do you want to wash dishes or do laundry?
Wash dishes.

Use choices for the following situations:

Order of activities

There are few activities which child must complete. Give them the freedom to choose which activity to start first, second, third...

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Materials Used

Even during an activity, allow them to make choices to help to make the activity more fun!

Colored Pencils


Give them choice of how much of an activity. e.g 5 minutes vs 2 minutes or 10 times vs 6 times. This is particularly helpful in ensuring that they try the activity rather than avoid it altogether.

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Allowing flexibility on location or time to do activity gives them a sense of control and motivation. They may be able to complete the activity faster and reduced number of problem behaviours when they are relaxed.

Elementary Classroom

Some more tips!

1. Make sure you are comfortable with your choices offered, and respect their decision.


2.You will have to follow through your choices. If the child starts negotiating with you, simply repeat the choices until they select one.

3.Praise and reward them after they were able to finish the task!

Want more parenting tips? Check out other posts

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Don't under-estimate the effectiveness of praise. Every praise is an opportunity for you and your child to build a positive relationship. Learn how praise works to improve behavior!

Happy Family

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