We offer the kids many small choices throughout the day, in the grand tradition of Love & Logic and oodles of other similar parenting approaches. "Buddy, do you want to leave the playground in five minutes or in three minutes?" "Would you like to brush your teeth first or put on your jammies first?"
Eddie now has five years under his belt of hearing such statements. And clearly the technique has sunk in, though perhaps not the principles behind it. The other day while in the kitchen I overheard him calmly explain, "Mari, these are your choices. Do you want to give me your balloon or get hit in the face?"
(She gave him the balloon.)