Julie GreenleeJulie Greenlee, Certified Love & Logic Instructor. Julie is currently Program Director at For Children’s Sake Emergency Diagnostic Center, a child placing agency specializing in therapeutic foster care, adoption, and residential treatment. There she works with the most defiant children. She has received trainings on Childhood Differential Diagnoses, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Autism and Asbergers, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Children and Families with HIV/AIDS, and has become a certified facilitator of Love and Logic which is the philosophy and core that For Children's Sake uses to teach both parents, staff, and community members, on appropriate and effective ways to parent and discipline a normal to extremely defiant child.
Are there rules when delivering choices to children?
Julie Greenlee: There are three basic rules, when delivering choices to kids. The first one is to limit it to two. When we give kids, all the choices in the world, they get overwhelmed, they can t handle giving that many choices to make a really sound decision. So we want to limit it to only two. Do you want to brush your teeth at seven a.
m. or you do you want to brush your teeth at seven-ten. Both of those choices leave us deliriously happy. Our choices always have to be two things that we are totally fine with. That s rule number two. Rule number three is, I know that if you have got a kind of difficult kid, that your kid has got that face, blank stare, brain stopped working, won t answer you and that s totally fine, that s not a deal breaker. If our kids are unable to make the choice within five to ten seconds, we make it for them. At the EDC, The Emergency Diagnostic Center, we have got kids that will dig in their heels, say no, they might even cuss us and if we have asked them to do something. We always put it in the form of a choice. If our kid is asked to take a time out or a break, we give him, do you want three minutes or four minutes? And if the kid refuses to choose, we are going to choose the one that leaves him less comfortable. We are always going to choose the four minute break or the five minute break. If a child chooses to get up early, then to spite you then we love that, we love when kids try to spite us because, in the end their choices are always going to be the ones that affect themselves.