ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Giving Kids Choices

Updated on October 22, 2012


As a magician, I sometimes use a technique called “the magician’s force”. This is when I offer a spectator an apparent choice. In fact, I am not really offering them a choice, it just looks like I am. I have manipulated the situation to have their choice be the one that I want, the one that will make the trick work. When the trick is accomplished, the spectator is amazed, and I build my reputation as a magician.

This same general concept can be used with children and teens in our work with them. We can give choices to children that appear to be larger and freer than they really are, when in fact, we are steering them to the choice that is best for them. There is nothing dishonest about making a particular choice more attractive to a child, just as there is nothing inherently dishonest about my magic trick. Of course, if I misused may magic talent to cheat someone out of money, that would be unacceptable.

Make your choice offers in a clear, simple, authoritative manner. Assertiveness and boldness is the way a magician approaches a “volunteer” spectator. The spectator needs to feel that the magician has something valuable to share, and while assertive, is not going to embarrass or hurt them. So too, children need clear, simple presentation of their choices from you in an assertive and decisive manner. This kind of approach sets up a semi-conscious sensation of a boundary and limit to the choices available.

Another technique used in magic is distraction. As a magician, I do not look myself where I do not want you to look. I place my attention and gestures onto where I want your eyes to be. The lesson here is not to give the poorer choices as much attention as the best choice. The tone of your voice and your…embellishment about the choice that you think is best for the child can be a nudge in the right direction. It is important not to go overboard on the tone of voice or embellishments, or the child will catch on.

Try also to use the phrase “your choice” at least three times, and give them time to think about their choice (but not too much time). Just as a magician does not walk away from a spectator he has asked to “choose a card, any card”, stay close as the child decides. While they are deciding, don’t press with words, just stay close (your physical proximity is the “move along” pressure). If they pick the one you don’t think is best, try one more time by asking them if they want to change their mind?

Yet another technique to offering only one real choice, is to break it up into three different versions. For example: “Do you want to take a bath or shower, do you want to take it right now or just before you go to sleep?” Four options, only one real choice.

With some people, it matters where in the list of choices you put the one you want them to pick. Some people tend to always take the first choice, others the last, and still others the center choice. If you can discover their pattern, place your choice in the favored position.

Remember, even the best magicians have tricks get “messed up” because a spectator did not take the magician’s force. When this happens, the magician has to think fast, and be prepared to keep his composure, and move on quickly to another trick. When we offer a choice to a child or teen, we must be prepared that they might choose the direction that we don’t think is the best. So, never offer an option that you can not live with, back up, or put quickly behind you.







Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)