To teach children how to make wise choices, give them the opportunity to negotiate a decision. For example, you are going to choose a movie to watch, a game to play or a meal to eat. Let the children know that they can each suggest a movie (game or meal) but for each suggestion, they each have veto power. Give each child one choice to suggest. As each suggestion is made, the other children are offered veto power. If it is vetoed by any of the other children, the movie is not chosen. When all of them have had one choice, start over with the first child again and give them all another choice. If they all agree at any point the game is over and the movie is chosen. Let them know how many chances they will get to come to an agreement. If you set the max at 2 and they’ve each made 2 suggestions without choosing the movie then the choice is “NO Movie”. Make sure they know that rule before the game begins.
To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
- How powerful did you feel having Veto power?
- Did knowing the others had Veto Power affect your choice?
- Did knowing that the option of No Movie was a possibility affect your choice or your veto?
- Did ending the first round without a choice impact the choices they made a second time around?
- If you had only one chance to use your veto power, would that have changed any of your vetos?
Once the movie has been watched, ask how different the experience would have been if it was a movie that one person didn’t want or only one person wanted.