Teaching Children the Art of Making Decisions

Start young. I let my 2 year old choose her clothes. I would put out 2 outfits on her bed to choose from.

As she got a little older, she would pick out her own outfits. Some days I might say, “Ok. You can keep the top or the pants on.” Then she would run back to her room and change either the top or the pants.

Some days I let her wear mismatched socks. Pick your battles.

As my children got older, I would include them in decision making. What do you want for dinner, broccoli or peas? Giving 2 choices helps so they are not overwhelmed.

Still later, when they were in school and had a problem, I would ask, “Is this something you can figure out or do you need my help?” Giving them this decision empowers them and at the same time lets your child know you’re there for them.

The ability to make good decisions comes from practice. If we always tell them what to do, what to wear, where to go, what to eat, they do not learn to think for themselves. Teaching them to make decisions for themselves is a gift we can give our children.

Angela DiCicco

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