Why the kid must be able to choose
Parents are better oriented in life situations, actions, etc. But this knowledge is based only on their subjective opinion and experience. Therefore, they must try to give the right of final choice to the child (we don’t consider a thoughtless whims indulgence now).
At an early age, it is important to teach to make a conscious choice: help the child, advise, train the dialogue “act – explanation”, direct – give the opportunity to decide what option to choose.
In no case you can criticize the decision of the child, force him to abandon it, even if it is stupid and pointless; don’t make him or her feel under pressure ” finish school/grow up/start working – then you will decide.”
The result of such a model of behavior will be a closed person suffering from the imposed life, friends, work, hobbies which he or she didn’t choose, absolutely indecisive, diffident, often irresponsible, easy manipulated. Or vice versa, an uncontrollable rebel.
Pay attention to the prohibition limits in order the proper education not turn into uncontrolled chaos:
- The child’s actions are a threat to life or health to himself/herself/ others, can cause material harm;
- Behavior in society and decisions for other people;
- Rules and laws at the city and country level.
When to start learning
Unconscious, but your kid makes essential decisions and desires already at infancy, defining, whether to eat this porridge, whether to play this rattle or to reject it,whose hands to fall asleep on.
In order to form these skills correctly, it’s necessary to be responsible at child’s upbringing. First give the freedom of choice in familiar, simple things. Next – to insist on the opportunity to learn new things and compare them with the usual ones.
- Elementary preference of toys or “sweets” is being formed and clearly expressed since 2 years old.
- When your child is 5 years old, he or she can already tell where he/she wants to go for a walk, what to wear, what to do. In this case, the child can confidently explain the motive of the decision and his/her opinion. But don’t forget to set clear and firm limits.
If at early age if parents pay due attention to the issue of the ability to choose, the child will harmoniously move to the next step of growing up – independently considered and balanced decisions, self-confidence and respect for his/her (and someone else’s) opinion.
Learn from simple things
Every day there is an opportunity to find a lot of reasons how to push the child gently to make decision. Let’s discuss the most common.
|Purchases||Let your son or daughter at least partially participate in the selection of products, gifts for some of the family members. If it comes to buying things exclusively for the child, it would be completely illogical not to consult with him/her. If it’s something highly requested, ask the reasons why the purchase should be made.
A good” trainer ” will be an imitation of future own purchases: let the child have a small area of responsibility, for example, for sweets for tea. In such a way, he or she will have the right to choose.
|Meal||A simple question, “what piece do you want?”,”what would you like for dessert?”, “do we cook it this weekend?” will make it clear that the opinion of a small resident of the house can also be respected, as well as the wishes of adults.|
|The choice of activities||Speak as equals. Be interested, enthusiastically listen to his/her stories. When he or she is 5, you can easily discuss with him/her where to go for a walk, what kind of book to read before going to bed, and what toy or thing he/she wants for birthday or New Year. Perhaps the child is interested in something and wants to develop his/her skills in a section?|
|Choice of clothes||What is important here is the fine line between personal expression, the formation of a sense of style and inappropriate attire with nerves spent. This applies to the purchase of clothing in the store, where the child should at least like the item. In such situations, you can slightly change it: if you are at home – hide all inappropriate clothes, and show the right ones, helping to combine them. Choose together the clothes for the morning. If you are in a store – choose convenient options at a good price and quality, and leave the rest to your child.|
If the choice was made, it must be accepted. Forcing a child to refuse or criticize his/her decision is fraught with negative consequences. He/she will think that his/her opinion is worth nothing, and he/she can always cancel the action not to be responsible. Even if later the choice is wrong, the child will be able to understand and explain why it happen so.
Choosing and taking responsibility is a skill
The kid, faced in everyday life with the right to choose, forms a strong skill for the future – determination, firmness of opinion, responsibility for the actions. This is a strong person who respects himself/herself and others, can stand up for himself/herself and correctly, from his/her point of view, build a life.
Parents also form a certain skill. Having made a choice in favor of a good future for a child, adults patiently create situations for practice, allow the child to make mistakes, bearing responsibility for the consequences. But don’t scold the child, analyze the situation. Learning in this case is mutual and useful for both.
Useful tips for parents
- Treat your son or daughter as an equal because he or she is an individual;
- The child in the future has the right to his/her own live and decisions based on his/her own wishes, your opinion should be in the form of advice, no orders;
- Change yourself, children are the mirror of parents. Let him/her see a strong personality that makes decisions carefully and is not afraid of responsibility;
- Talk to your child. Constantly. Don’t shout, don’t intimidate don’t threaten. Just talk, ask his/her opinion and tell your opinion;
- Teach your child to choose the right option and give up one thing in favor of the second one because to have everything is unrealistic;
- Read fairy tales, tell stories where there’s a clearly expressed the problem of choice and the consequences of decisions in the plot, discuss it, play board games;
- More practice: in everyday life, in games, in conversations, etc. Repetition is the key to success;
- Provide a competent choice (don’t offer to choose between soup and ice cream for dinner).