Friday, March 3, 2017

Giving A Child Choices Is Important

For the past 2 or 3 weeks, I've been stepping back and letting Scarlett make some of her own decisions.  Even though she's only two, that doesn't mean that she can't make some of her own choices.  I do believe that giving children choices will allow them to feel that they are in control over what they do.  It's also a small step in growing up too!

As a parent, giving children options helps alleviate some frustration.  If your little one is allowed to choose their own snack, they'll be happier than eating what you chose for them, especially if it's not what they want.  I take Scarlett to the cabinet where her snacks are and offer her two choices.  I feel that two is a small enough number to ensure she won't get overwhelmed.  

The snack choices I offer her are always things she likes, so I know she'll have no problem choosing.  I'll ask her if she wants crackers or yogurt raisins for example and pause after each item to see how she reacts.  Also, I show her each food box so she knows exactly what she's getting.  If she shakes her head at one choice, I know it's not what she wants.  When I allow Scarlett to choose her snack, I know that it's going to cause one less frustration for me in terms of her not eating what I give her and having to offer something else.  

When it comes to going out, I'll actually let her choose her own shoes.  I don't give her any choices at all, and I just tell her go pick out what shoes you'd like to wear today from your closet. Sometimes I have to intervene if she picks out shoes that are not appropriate for the outfit, like dress shoes with jeans and a sweater. Scarlett usually handles it well and the second pair of shoes she picks works better.

Scarlett also picks out her own book for us to read too.  My husband and I used to select a book for her, but why not let her read what she wants to? 

In the future when she's speaking more, I'll offer her choices for dinner to ensure she'll enjoy what she eats.  It's interesting as a parent to see your child have some control and see what choices they make.  Scarlett's just getting older and more independent and I'm doing my best to help her!

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