4 Words, 1 Choice

I often struggle with raising Kalel. There. I said it. I am not perfect. I am far from it, as a matter of fact. If there’s a mistake, I’ll make it. He is my first and only child and he is “Threeteen”, so no judgement please!

I can’t take him anywhere. He’s constantly throwing fits and is just a spoiled brat. And you know what? I know it’s my fault. I’m trying, but I have a horrible temper, and find myself yelling more than talking. I am about to lose my mind!


One particularly trying day, after actually crying from frustration (me, not him), Kalel decided to torture the kitty. “Kalel!” I screamed, “If you don’t stop pulling the cat’s tail, I’ll give her away!” Now, I didn’t mean it. Of course I didn’t. That was a mean thing to say, and as you may imagine, it tore him down deep.

“No!” he yelled back. “She’s my kitty!”

Cue waterfall and sirens.

I felt horrible. A person can only take so much before you break. And I’ve been breaking quite often since having Kalel. I took a deep breath. I pulled him to me and apologized. I have learned that it is important for your children to know that you are only human, and that doing things you’re not supposed to do is part of it. It isn’t good to do those things, but that it is okay as long as you don’t do it on purpose and try to make amends.

So I tell him I’m sorry. I will not give Jupiter away. I was mad. I shouldn’t have screamed. That was mean. I will try not to do it again.

The rest of the day was pretty much uneventful. Hahaha yeah okay. But nothing I want to report anyway…

Bedtime. Sleep. Breakfast.

And the monster is back, destroying everything that he sees! My temper is rising, yet again, and I feel myself about to scream. I take a deep breath and center myself as he tap, tap, tap, tap, taps on the TV with the back-scratcher.


“Kalel,” I say firmly. Nice Mommy is back. For now. “Please stop hitting the TV with the back-scratcher. It might break it. Then we won’t be able to…” Tap.. tap.. tap… “It might break it and we…” tap… tap…

“It won’t tear it up,” he declares. Mr. Know-It-All!

“Yes, it will. Please stop. If it breaks, we won’t be able to watch it anymore.”

Tap. Tap. Then I remember something my mom used to say, and that I sometimes say but don’t nearly enough. I give him a choice.

“You have two choices…”

He stops briefly. I have his attention. Good!

“You can either stop tapping the TV and give me the back-scratcher…”


“…or you can go to bed.”

“No bed!” he exclaims. “No bed!”

“Those are your choices. You can give me the back-scratcher and stop tapping the TV before it breaks, or you go to bed early. It’s your choice.”

He scowls. He growls. He stomps. He gives me the back-scratcher.


Mommy – 1.

Kalel – 39,238

But whatever. It worked. Now to remember this little trick more often… There is something about giving your child a choice, giving him power, that gives you power. I don’t get how it works. I’m no expert, obviously. I’m just stating what I’ve read and that it <s>works</s> worked for me. Hopefully it works for you. I’m not exactly sure how this technique gives him power, since either way he’s doing something he doesn’t want to do. But he gets to choose, which somehow makes him think differently. Maybe it confuses him and tricks him into doing what I want. I don’t know. Go ask the psychologist.

But it worked for me that time, and it’s worked for me quite a few times since.


What? You noticed I scratched out “works” earlier and replaced it with a worked? Yes… about that… As time goes on, it’s working less and less. He’s too smart for me.

Happy parenting, y’all!


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