Make the Better Choice

My suggestion to you is to focus on making a "better" choice each time you can. I think that was the most helpful advice I got as a parent of younger kids—it was surprisingly practical and encouraging to simply consider at least two choices and pick the better one. The next time, try to think of the one you did choose and then one other—pick the better one. If you make a choice you're unhappy with, after the fact, think then about what would have been a better choice—have that one "on hand" for next time.

Don't expect to be perfect, but expect yourself to be improving all the time.

Pam Sorooshian
AlwaysLearning, December 2009


Translated by Catherine Goudouchaouri:

Faites le meilleur choix.

Ma suggestion pour toi, c’est de te concentrer pour faire le « meilleur » choix chaque fois que tu le peux. Je pense que c’est le conseil le plus utile que j’aie reçu en tant que parent d’enfant en bas âge – c’était très pratique, de façon surprenante, et m’a encouragé à considérer au moins deux possibilités et à choisir la meilleure. La prochaine fois, essaie de penser à ce que tu as choisi et ensuite à une autre possibilité – choisit la meilleure. Si tu fais un choix qui ne te compble pas, alors pense à un meilleur choix possible – garde-le « en réserve » pour la prochaine fois.

Ne t’attends pas à être parfaite, mais attends-toi à t’améliorer chaque fois.

Pam Sorooshian
Always Learning, décembre 2009

Also in French, by Pam: Je vis donc j’apprends – Une vie unschooling
—in French by others

There is a transcript of more explanation for this method of thinking of two or more things and making a conscious choice:
Don’t ever decide from one choice, you know, wait until you get two and make the better choice. And if you think “Ok, I’m either going to whack him or I’m going to yell at him,” yell at him—that was the best choice you had at that moment. And the next time, start with “yell at him."

“Ok, I'm either going to do what I did the last time or something better. I'm going to yell at him or I’m going to go in the other room for a second." Go in the other room.

And the next time, maybe your choice could be either “go in the other room” or “I’m going to take a deep breath and make a joke about it.” Make a joke.

And gradually and incrementally you come closer to the place where you want to be. Beause I don’t think anybody can just jump from a lifetime of responses and expectations and behaviors and just pick some other person and just become that person. You can’t do that.

—Sandra Dodd
You can read more, and hear it spoken, at SandraDodd.com/parentingpeacefully
Other pages on choices the Peaceful Parenting sound file is here Mindful Parenting