The Benefit of Giving Children Choices

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The Benefit of Giving Children Choices (3 out of 5)

As parents, educators and adults in general we, oftentimes, are tempted to tell children what it is that they should do, play, and be. My experience with children has taught me that this is not the way to go. I have learned that this “my way or the highway” approach that many adults take only leads to frustration in children. My way of thinking about this matter has developed throughout the years. I began feeling that children should have the privilege of making their own choices when I would watch the way my mom and dad handled my two younger brothers as they grew. When my mom would tell my cookie loving brother that he could have three Oreos, he would beg for four. She would tell him no. He would beg some more. “Ok,” she would say “you can have two.” “No, no,” he responded “I want three.” Ok,” my mom replied with a grin. It worked! She got what she wanted and so did he! What a great concept.

So, as I grew and began teaching Preschool, I kept these lessons from my mom with me. Now, when one of my Preschoolers is having a difficult day, I say, “You have a choice. You may play here or here.” This way I am taking him or her away from the children or play area that he or she is having trouble with, yet the child is given a choice. So, we both win! The child moves to an area that he or she is able calm down in and still feels as though there was a choice and I am able to help a child improve his or her day. Children need choices. They need to learn to be independent. After all, they will all grow up and become adults before we know it.