Everyone likes to have choices. While we adults do all the planning, we sometimes forget that children need choices too!
Some children will go along with whatever we tell them to do. Others will become angry because they aren’t given a chance to choose. The truth is, giving children choices helps them feel like they have some power and control over what they do.
It’s a crucial step in their development. Making good choices is a skill they will use for the rest of their lives. An excellent way to start is to decide what choices we will allow them to make.
These kinds of choices are easy to allow children to make:
✨ What toy would you like to play with?
✨ Do you want to paint or bike today?
✨ Would you like a strawberry jam sandwich or a cheese jam sandwich?
One rule to remember is to give only choices that you can agree to. There are times when you shouldn’t give choices. Offer choices only when the child will truly be allowed to choose.
No power struggle begins when we offer kids a choice instead of making demands.
You can empower children by offering them choices throughout the day, not just when behavior issues arise. For example: Would you rather sing Old MacDonald or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star?
Enforceable statements are invitations instead of demands. When you demand that a child do something, they may refuse because they feel controlled, but they are much more likely to do something when you invite them to do something.
In the meantime look to The Moodies to build communication, awareness, and empathy that last a lifetime.