I used to get so tired of refereeing arguments over little things. Little tiny things. Like who gets to drink out of the blue cup, who gets to sit by the window, who gets the last strawberry, who gets to wash their hands first.
So years ago, at the suggestion of a friend, we implemented “choosing day” in our home.
The title is not fancy or terribly clever, I know. It doesn’t roll off your tongue easily, but it is descriptive. And it is the solution to all the daily, silly squabbles my kids used to have.
Here’s how it works. Each person in our family gets 1 choosing day per week. It works out nicely in our family because there are 7 of us (yes, the husband and I each get one too). But before there were 7 of us the kids each got 2 choosing days per week and we got one.
You can figure it out, just make it work somehow.
I assigned a day of the week to each child so they have the same day every week. This makes it very easy to remember. I even started with the oldest on Sunday and went down in age each day of the week to make it really easy for myself. But you can decide any way you like.
If you are not home on your choosing day someone else fills in for you, there are no make-ups. You can switch with someone if you pre-arrange it. You can give your’s away if you want to be nice and earn points with siblings. But for the most part if you snooze, you lose. And as a default if something goes wrong and you cannot fulfill your choosing day duties for whatever reason, it’s mommy’s choosing day.
Yes! I get to listen to all my favorite tunes in the car.
So, in our house on your choosing day, you get to:
Wash your hands for dinner in the sink first
Pick the game
Drink from the coolest cup (ours is the marshmallow cup)
Decide what we will have for breakfast
Pick the book at bedtime
Eat the drumsticks if we have chicken
Say the prayer at dinner time
Choose the music in the car
Break any ties
You get the jist. When there is a fight over something inconsequential, and it’s your choosing day, you win.
Pretty powerful stuff.
Now, there is no fanfare about it, we don’t gloat or parade around when it’s our choosing day nor do we get mad when it isn’t our day to choose. Because your turn’s a commin’ and you don’t want to miss it.
Just a quick side note. Your choosing day does NOT entitle you to anything you want, like all of the Halloween candy you can eat. It is just a means to settle minor arguments.