How To Raise A Happy Kid…Idea #439

Sometimes kids are grumpy in the morning, hell, who isn’t. Why? Well, they don’t want to wake up and start working, who does? Burrowing under the warm covers like a mole hiding from the blazing sunlight seems like a much better.

But here’s something that generally makes Sandor, who is a pretty typical eight year old, feel a little better in the mornings. We don’t talk about school, we talk about the good stuff that will happen after school. I give him a couple of choices for dinner, “What do we want tonight, spaghetti tacos or porkĀ chops and apple sauce.” Making decisions makes him feel powerful.

Then I let him decide what game we’ll play. Today he had four choices, Uno, Five Card Stud, Trouble or Pictionary. He picked the last. “Ok, what prize does the winner get?” I asked. He thought about it, “Twenty bucks!”
“Wrong,’ I buzzed.
“How about two back rubs, one from me and somebody else.”
“Fair enough” I said, and my mission had been accomplished. He was friendlier and looking forward to the day.

I promise you I am not one of those moms who sits for hours playing board games or inventing craft projects. That’s not me at all, infact we generally play “Diana’s Super Short Version” most of the time. That means ever roll of the dice is doubled. And that knocks the playing time in half , but still give us a little silly time together.

So, next time you want to cheer your kid up in the morning let him make someĀ  decisions. I promise it works better than a Happy Meal and it teaches him to make up his mind. Nobody likes an indecisive 8 year old.