Generally, I like to give my children choices during the day. First of all, I think it is good practice...and also it helps me to make decisions when I'm undecided as to what to do next! I'm a big proponent of the "two against one" principle - we're never all going to agree about anything, but if I can get a majority vote, then that's enough for me to move forward.
However, it has become clear that this is going to have to change. Example number one: Saturday, after breakfast.
I knew the kids had eaten already, but not much...so as I was making myself some eggs I asked if they would like some.
Emma: "No thanks".
Katie: "I already had breakfast."
Nathan: "No thanks."
5 minutes later, eggs cooked...
Katie: "Can I have some eggs?"
Emma: "Me too!"
Me: "GIRLS. I just asked you if you wanted some eggs and you said no. Yes, you can have MY eggs, but next time I'm not even going to ask, I'm going to just make you eat."
3 minutes after the eggs are all gone...
Nathan: "Can I have some eggs, too?"
Example number two: this morning.
Me: "Nathan, do you want to go to the gym, or are you happy here at home?" (Thinking, if he is happy to play with his toys now, I'll just clean the house. It's so much easier to go with the flow if he is happy and situated...and on the days when he is bored we leave the house earlier.)
Nathan: "Happy here at home."
4 minutes after the class I wanted to attend started at the gym...
Nathan: "Can we go to the gym?"