Super-Reverse Psychology

While my son Alex is very good at entertaining himself, my other son -- Ian-- often has trouble in this department, and he's also stubborn and doesn't take suggestions very well, but I've figured a way out of the dilemma; when he's roaming the house, annoying people and breaking things, I need to give him a list of choices that does not include the thing I want him to do . . . because it's a power thing with him, he hates succumbing to anyone's will; the longer the list, the better chance that he'll do what I want . . . so if I he needs to practice the piano, I'll say to him: "Ian you could do art or unload the dishwasher or read a book or go outside and juggle the soccer ball or collect bugs or take out the garbage or clean your room and play with Legos" and he'll say back to me "Okay, I'm going to play the piano."

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