This morning I overheard a mother asking her 5- and 6-year-old boys how they would like to handle their 30 minutes of reading.

“Would you like to do 30 minutes at one time or 10 minutes at three times?”  

So, the decision isn’t just about whether or not they want to read. The decision is about how they would like to handle the time.

This is an excellent way to give the boys a say, which makes them feel as if they have some influence or control in life.

“[Establishing the element of choice] is one of the more difficult ideas to put into practice. Early on, you can simply give your kids two options from which to choose. I like this. Young children begin to understand that there are usually options in life…. The point is that the discussion is less about the options and more about the freedom of choice. Kids feel better about themselves when they have the element of choice in their lives.” —from pages 114-15 of Ten Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids