Teaching Choices

Little S just got his first set of glasses. He was not thrilled. In order for him to wear them, he needed to like them. Unfortunately, the only pair he liked was a little bolder than we anticipated. So the question, do we let him have his choice? Or do we put our foot down. I am a firm believer that we are raising people, not children. My goal as a parent is to teach my children to be successful adults. This is a big job. They need to learn how to make choices, and live with that choice, good or bad. There comes a time when parents need to take a step back, and let their child make a choice we may not like.  We need to let go, and allow them to make it on their own. Preparing them for that day is a long road, full of many bumps. So how do you know they are ready? How do we equip them to make good choices?

Choice making is a skill that builds self confidence, promotes positive behaviour, prevents problem behaviour, increases motivation, supports the development of communication, social skills, academic improvements and independence.

 

Start allowing them to make choices early

The choices should start small. Offer your child a chance to choose daily. Pick a snack, choose your clothes, pick one toy to take along some where. Keep the choices age appropriate, and keep looking for opportunities to let your child show some independence. Offer your 2 year old a choice between 2 shirts. Or ask “Would you like an apple or banana for snack today?” Keep the choices simple. The more choices you offer your child, the more they learn the ability to make the choices.

Support the choices they have made

Choice making builds confidence. If we want them to have that confidence, they need to see we support them. have you ever watched someone make a decision and could tell they were not confident in their decision? Does it make you trust in their decisions? If our children learn that we trust their choices, then they will too. When they trust their decisions, it aides in making more and better decisions as time goes on.

Make your expectations known

To teach good decision making doesn’t mean let your child choose between two bad choices. Wearing a grubby shirt to class picture day is not a good choice. If your child knows what they have to choose from, and what is appropriate, then it is much easier to avoid a melt down, or embarrassing family photo!

Know where to draw the line

Some times you have to say no. It’s life, and your child will not like it, but it is necessary. Boundaries are helpful for a child’s development. A life with out boundaries is a road to disaster. Imagine a world with no speed limits. No rules. It is not a pretty picture. Don’t be afraid to say no once in a while.

Stay consistent in your expectations

Consistency is the key. Stick to your guns. When your kids know that your word sticks, they will listen. Maybe not at first, but they will know that you mean business. Don’t give in! When you say no, stick to it. If you waver once, they will keep pushing and pushing to win each time. No means no.

Sometimes yo just have to let them have it

Some times it is worth it to let the child have their way. Think about the choice. Is it really worth putting your foot down? Sure, maybe the glasses are bold, and kind of goofy, but letting Little S choose them him self lets him love them. If he loves them, he will wear them. No fighting about the importance of keeping the glasses on. That is the greater good. Some times, the greater good needs to win. So, Little S got to pick his glasses.

Compare the two. (1)

 

So there you have it. My little minion. Goofy Little S.


Comments

  1. You are right we are raising our children to be adults and we must teach them to make choices when they are young. It is good to start small and increase the importance of choices as they age.
    Janeane Davis recently posted..Shut Up and Just Do ItMy Profile

  2. He’s Adorable!! I Believe In Choices For My Children Depending On The Age & What Subject Its About!!
    Lisa Jones recently posted..Checkout 50 /New Way To Save & Coupon!My Profile

  3. I really feel guilty because sometimes I am expecting too much from may 3-year old son. That’s why when I realize I am not giving him choices, I slowed down. I am not raising an adult but a child who deserves to enjoy his childhood. By the way, your Little S is adorable 🙂
    Maye Domencil recently posted..Lazada launches mobile shopping app for iPhone and iPadMy Profile

  4. When my oldest (21) got his first pair of glasses at 4 years old, he chose a very bright red oversized pair that looked like Sally Jessie Raphael glasses. He wore them with pride for the whole year.
    Letting kids make choices like these instills self-confidence in them. Kids should be as autonomous as possible in my opinion. 🙂
    Nancy Bobbert recently posted..Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is Seriously FlawedMy Profile

  5. He knew what he liked and he did a good job. I let my kids choose if I feel they can make an educated decision. Sometimes I choose for them depending on the child, the age, and the situation. We are raising adults and sometimes we have to guide them so they can learn. 🙂 He is super adorable in his new glasses. My oldest has had glasses for the last 4 years. She always chooses purple ones.
    Becka recently posted..Free Nature Blog Resource PicturesMy Profile

  6. I let my kids make many choices too. I help my daughter pick her glasses but she always has the say in the end.
    DawnC recently posted..Double DigitsMy Profile

  7. I definitely believe in letting kids make their own choices WITHIN reason. However, I think his choice of glasses are beyond adorable!!! Kid has great taste!
    Lena Blair recently posted..Mommy “Me” Time: Unwinding with WineMy Profile

  8. I like his choice! I agree with you. It’s so important to teach them about choices when they are young .

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