Choices! I am sick and tired of making choices. I hate making choices especially when the outcome might be disastrous—like booking airline tickets and then finding out I need to change the dates. Or choosing what to fix for dinner.
But since choices are all around us constantly, and they seem to never quit coming, we need to teach our children how to make them.
One of the easiest and first ways to help our children learn to make choices is by giving them the choice of what clothes to wear. Most days you probably don’t care what shirt or pair of shorts your children wear. So let them wear what they choose. But even on days when you’re going out in public, you can still let your child choose what to wear, but within limits. ask, "Do you want to wear the levi skirt and blue blouse or the orange blouse?"
When you think about it, there are lots of choices you can let your children make. Choices such as:
Their apple cut in wedges or slices?
Their sandwich cut in rectangles or triangles?
Put their clothes away before they make their bed or after? (uh oh, I don’t think my kids ever even made their beds)
Stop whining or do an extra chore?
Do their homework at the kitchen table or on the couch?
Practice the piano before or after homework?
Brush their teeth before pajamas are on or after?
With each choice they make, children become more empowered. They feel more confident and in control of their lives. With older children and more difficult choices you can help them problem solve and see the advantages and disadvantages of choices.
My daughter in Florida is good at making choices, so often I or my other daughters will call her and get her advice. I must have taught her well, huh? You can see I let her choose her own clothes—here’s a picture of her as a teenager.