At our home kids get to choose what they want to do. They get choices for stuff like having chicken or fish in their meals, wearing long pants or shorts for an outdoor play, joining activities that are outside or in school, getting a rest or playing etc. The young ones usually starts the day with ‘Do you want to get dressed by yourself or do you need mummy’s help?’. The usual reply is obviously the former! All kids love challenges especially the ones that show others how capable they are. My 2 year old happens to be quite good at this as she keeps pushing herself to be just like her older sister.
By giving an option between two reasonable outcomes, I’m getting the kids to focus and make an informed decision on what they want. At the same time, this helps them to feel independent and accountable for their choices. My teen and tween boys are now able to express their thoughts better when trying to make up their mind about something. They can reason out, although it may only be ‘reasonable’ to them! Well, at least they are well aware of the impact of that particular choice.
I don’t simply let them do what they want that’s not the case here. This mum can behave like a vicious dictator, but of course, not everything is negotiable in life. Just like rules are created to benefit the society and control chaos, there are certain things that we have to conform without making a huge fuss. And choices come with responsibility. That’s what I want my kids to learn; to become a thinking adult who can make judgements based on a sound mind and not merely doing it ‘just because’.