"Don't ask a child a question if you don't mean for the child to have a choice in the matter. "

Who's in Control?

Question

My son is 6 years old and is for the most part obedient, respectful, and considerate. He is in kindergarten, and I homeschool him. Over the past few weeks. I've noticed a new pattern of, let's call it, stalling and deflecting. I ask him to come to the table to eat, and he asks to go to the bathroom; I tell him to sit down to start school, and he asks to sharpen his pencil; I tell him to eat his dinner faster (and he takes forever, another control), and he starts asking any question he can think of to distract; I tell him to pick up his toys, and he asks if he can get a tissue first; I tell him to get in the car, and he asks to give just one more hug - you get the picture. Also, when I ask him to do anything he usually has an alternative suggestion on how he should do it or suggests something else he would rather do. It's getting ridiculous, and it's obviously a manipulation for control. He does whatever he can do to keep things on his terms. I see this as a bigger issue than a simple distraction, and it is a habit I need to break and soon! But I'm not sure how to do it. When I tell him no he does not pitch a fit, get angry, or act out, he just constantly tries to control the outcome of whatever he's been asked to do. How would you suggest nipping this behavior in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue and harder to deal with? Thank you!

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