WFMW: Offering Choices to Preschoolers

I read sometime ago, how important it is to allow your children choices in their lives to help them feel like they at least have control over some part of their lives. This is also supported in a book I’m reading right now that a friend recommended:

I’m not receiving anything by supporting it, just wanted to share (that’s all legal, right?)

Anyhow, offering choices has really helped in our everyday goings on to make life a more pleasurable (and fun) experience. I’ve also read and heard that it helps later in life when they need to make bigger decisions.

As an educator, more and more I see this as an answer: IDK (I don’t know). What do you mean you don’t know? TRY! “Think of something!” I want to say, “even if the answer ends up being wrong, but you tried.” I’d like to help my son makes decisions and be able to think about the pros and cons of things.

Here are some examples throughout the day:

*Would you like apple or orange juice?

*Would you like Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Apple Crunchies?

*Would you like the blue or orange bowl?

*Which outfit would you like (offering two different ones)?

*Would you like these shoes or those?

*Would you like Mom to pack PB and J or get hot lunch?

*Would you like Dora or Diego (recorded on the DVR)?

*Would you like an orange or a red popsicle?

*Would you like this book or that one?

*Which book would you like Mom to read first?

What is funny is, sometimes he’ll say, “I wanna pick which one!” This works so well in situations where you, as a parent are okay with two different ways something can go. You’d obviously not want to offer a choice of something that isn’t okay with you.

Have you done anything like this, or do you have any special tricks for your preschoolers?

For more of WFMW, see We’re That Family.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “WFMW: Offering Choices to Preschoolers

  1. We like to offer our 3 year old choices too. We only give her 2 or 3 things to chose from, but she loves it. And I think it makes her more independent and sure of her ability to make decisions. I think it is healthy.

  2. When my daughter was 3, I started offering her choices in some things. I learned pretty quickly to only offer two things, because if I offered more than that it became a long and drawn out battle of wills. Now she knows how to make decisions and live by the decisions that she has made.

  3. I read this book with a friend last year. My kiddos are grown and out of the house but she has 2 toddlers and one 9 year old. she needed/wanted some help in getting through the book.

    The choice-dialogue proved to be very helpful – as long as she was faithful to offering the choices.

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