March 18, 2010
Suppose you were given a cup of tea to drink, but oh, it wasn't in your favorite mug, you know, the one you love with the bright colors, the one you want to sip your tea from, the one that felt good in your hands and held a good amount of tea, the one that just made you happy.
Suppose you were told to drink it in the chair over by the wall, when what you really wanted to do was to sit in the chair by the window, to see what birds were visiting the feeder on this bright sunny morning. The comfy chair where you felt more relaxed and excited to look out at the natural world.
Suppose you hadn't even finished your tea yet and you were told to "come here" " this very minute" "right now" ! but you were still sipping and thinking your thoughts and observing the outdoors and feeling calm and peaceful.
It all feels a bit unsettling, doesn't it???
That's how if feels for a child when she has no opportunity to choose, to decide what she wants and where she wants it.
A child who is given many choices as a young one grows up learning to make decisions that are right for her as she grows. It becomes second nature. A very young child, even a toddler, knows what she wants.
Try this at home.
See how many choices you can give your child, as safety allows,of course.. from small things to big things. But you must be ok with the choice the child picks. Otherwise trust will be lost between you.
As a child grows, so should the choices.
After all, don't we want our children to be freethinkers in this world? It doesn't happen overnight, they have to be allowed to choose and have practice making decisions.
Older children who are used to having choices and making alot of their own decisions become comfortable with themselves. They know what they need and want, and have learned what is right for them. They rarely succumb to peer pressure because they have been used to speaking their mind and making choices from early on.
Many children who grow up with choice are very choosy how they want to spend their time and
who they want to spend it with . They have learned what is and what is not right for them. They have learned their time is as valuable as they are.
I have living proof in my house...two of them :)
Do you give your children choices?