2.8 – Offering our children choices
Do you offer your children choices? Do you feel that offering children choices is difficult? When parenting alone, frazzled, tired and perhaps short of money, it’s hard to find the head-space to think about the decisions we make and how they affect our children. Most of the time we make all of the decisions for our children. But how will they ever know what is a good decision or choice if we haven’t supported them to learn that?
How would you feel if someone made the decisions for you about everything – what you eat, what you wear, where you go? And what if you were never told the reason why you had to do it?
Our children need to know why we are asking them to do things. They also need to feel that they have some choice. Offering choices results in co-operation and co-operation is key to having harmonious households. We are going to look at how offering choices can make life easier.
Choose your answers from the list below to read more about each choice.
- Offer choices whenever you can and give reasons when you can’t.
- Offer choices that don’t cause huge inconveniences to you or others.
- Try to be clear about the choices available and repeat them.
- Talk to children about choices and the repercussions of certain choices, for example: “If we go to the cinema this afternoon we A) won’t be able to afford to go swimming until next week or B) will have to do extra homework tomorrow or C) will only have time for sandwiches for tea.”