I had read this in parenting books a few years ago and still use the "choice" weapon to my advantage. The "choice" weapon is giving your child choices and making him feel independent, important and happy while he makes the choice. Of course, the choices you give him are all that you want him to do. If I were in the child's place, I might feel more like "Between a rock and a hard place" but as smart as a 8 year old's brain is, thankfully, they still fall for this one as was proven last weekend.
Me: Taran, Roshan, if you want we can play a chess tournament on Saturday.
Both (truly excited): Great! And what is the plan for Sunday?
Me: Well, we can play another chess tournament or go to the museum or celebrate Easter.
Roshan (who had no interest in playing chess on 2 consecutive days): Mom, I would really love to observe how Easter is celebrated and compare it to the way we just celebrated "Hanuman Jayanti" so I would love to go to the church.
Taran (ever so logical): Yes, we can go to museums whenever we want to. But I would love to go to a church for Easter service! It will be a great experience.
Me: Wise decision! I am so proud of you, T & R!
As much as it was pre-planned, the experience was truly memorable and I am glad we went to the church!

Circa August 2009
Taran: Maa, can you please read the "Hanuman Chalisa" to us?
Me: Sure. (I read it to them)
Taran: Can you please translate all that you read?
(Happy to see Taran's interest, I gave the translation a sincere shot).
Taran: Now can you please read "Hanuman ji's aarti"?
Me: I certainly will (and I sang the same).
Taran: Maa what means "Jo Hanuman ji ki aarti gaaye, basi baikunth param pad paaye"?
Me: It means that whoever sings this "aarti", will go to heaven and live with the Gods.
Taran (with immediate concern): Maa, what will happen to Morgan, John, Max and Liana? They don't even know about Hanumanji!
Me (trying to bring him succor and also seizing the opportinity for sermonizing.... I can't leave that, can I?!): That is ok. They worship Jesus Christ who is also a God. But what is important is that we all lead good lives. We should not hurt anyone or be rude. We should always show respect, love and affection and help everyone.
Meanwhile, Roshan, who was a silent spectator to this conversation, had a twinkle in his eyes. The moment I saw that, and dreading that it may have been the calm before he storm, I ventured into choppy waters: Yes, Roshan.
Roshan: Maa, why did Ramachandraji have to do all this fighting?
Me: Because Sita maa was his wife and he wanted her back.
Roshan: That's ok. If Ravan took his wife, he could have just taken Ravan's wife. It would have been a swap and there was no need to do so much fighting over wives!!!!!

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