10/26/2011

Wednesday: In Which I Notice a Trend

Oh how quickly the arrogant, cocky, self-sure fall. There I was last week proclaiming how SMOOTH the mornings were, other than the boy, and now yet another morning in a row, those three are proving to be obstinate, frustrating, loud, obnoxious, and incapable of choosing.

I fixed part of it. At least the choosing. I'm so sick of the words "I'm thinking!" Now, they have one minute to choose. If they don't, they're eating whatever they had the day before.

We prize choice in our society, but Barry Schwartz's Paradox of Choice shows us why too many choices is actually detrimental to our happiness levels. Now, if you know me, my personal thought is no choice is necessary--get it all!--but my kids are often incapable of choosing. It would be easier to never make them choose, but then how will they ever do it?

The reality is that I don't have all day to let them choose their breakfast. Giving them an appropriate amount of time and then making the choice for them (what they chose the day before) solves the problem and will hopefully help them make the choice the next day. It doesn't mean they won't still drive me batty, though.

Why can't they be more like me and just eat the same thing every morning? Sometimes no choice is the best choice of all.

6 comments:

bjforshaw said...

I had to smile in recognition as I read this - I quickly get stuck when faced with too many choices (and some days two options is one too many). I'll happily eat the same thing every day because repetition and predictability is comforting. My wife, on the other hand, has this strange notion that eating the same type of dish two days in a row is boring but has trouble suggesting what she would like me to cook. I think I'll try your approach - you've got one minute to choose or you're getting X.

Jean said...

It's my NT daughter who has a meltdown in the face to overwhelming choice, while my autie son knows exactly what he wants and how he wants it. I like your 'one minute and counting' shtick! Hope it works XXX

usethebrainsgodgiveyou said...

You are nice...I don't give a choice. I've been known to say, "If you don't like it, you can make your own."

Works every time...

chavisory said...

This is something I really learned in my time working at Starbucks--too much choice makes people anxious and unhappy. I can't tell you the number of people who came in and bitched at me over the number of choices they had. And Starbucks continually refuses to understand this--I read something once in which they actually bragged that the total number of drink choices on their menu, if you factored in sizes, types of milk, flavorings, etc., was in the neighborhood of like 1500. When really, I think the optimum number of available choices is somewhere between 6 and 12. More than that just makes people cranky.

melbo said...

Chavisory, I couldn't agree more. I've often remarked to people that I come to big decisions rather easily and with confidence but it is in the little ones that I have to make daily that I encounter problems.

Just take me to the supermarket and stand me in front of the laundry detergent to see this in action. And if the choice overload doesn't get me, the perfume probably will.

KWombles said...

Too much choice is a problem. :)


Wednesday evening Rosie and I went to the grocery story and she picked out breakfast bowls (with eggs, potatoes, and meat), so the past two mornings have been a breeze--both girls have eaten them, no need to choose. Of course, at $2 a pop, they're not going to get them every morning. It's frightening how expensive food can be.