Oh look!? A post with substance.
That is a good idea to decide ahead of time what he gets to make choices about. I will have to think about that some more.
Similarly Nancy wrote a post recently about Grace and choices. (go read that post because it is a fantastic description of freedom in the baby home or lack thereof versus freedom in a forever home.)
As many of you know I’m a firm believer in raising my child to think for himself.? Society has warped us into believing that we have to do everything for our children.? We have to constantly praise them.? For the love of Pete in some tee ball leaugues every kid gets a trophy so no one feels left out.? We give goody bags at birthday parties again, so no one feels left out.
I want my child to know there are winners and losers.? It’s part of life.? Someone is going to get the job over you.? There are no secondary positions single openings.? And they certainly don’t give you a goody bag just for showing up for the interview.
We teach this at a three year old level.? It’s called choices and logical consequences.? Take for example this morning.? Every morning in our house is a battle to get dressed, that’s a given.? (If you are somewhere wondering what Elle is doing and it is roughly 8:00 a.m. pacific time, just know I’m ripping my hair out listening to my child whine that he doesn’t want to get dressed.)? One of the boy’s favorite activities is watching people pull out of our driveway, especially his father.? The boy was dawdling and the trusty husband had to leave so he just left.? The boy pitched a major fit because he wanted to watch daddy leave.? Cause and a effect.? He screwed around so he missed his opportunity.? Logical wouldn’t you say?? (our normal cause and effect is I will strip him down to his birthday suit and leave the room.? He hates to be naked.? Takes him 3 minutes to get dressed then)
The point of all of this is choices.? We give the child every opportunity to make his own choices.? He picks what he wants for breakfast, lunch and snacks.? He picks his own clothes out.? But we didn’t bring him home and start giving him complete freedom.? We started slowly.
Once he could communicate we would give him one of two options.? “Do you want oatmeal or cereal (cream of wheat) for breakfast?”? “Would you like strawberry or peach yogurt?”? “Do you want the blue shirt or the green shirt?”? When he mastered that he learned what the options were at any given moment.? He knows that for breakfast his choices are waffles, cereal, oatmeal, Os or eggs.? More importantly he knows he cannot have Os on a school day.? So during the school year he would ask if it was a school day.? He also knows that when it’s a weekend he gets the added options of donuts (only once a month) and pancakes.? He knows what the options are for lunch and for snack.? Because we’ve taught him.
Choices give him the opportunity to flex his freedom.? And it gives us pride in knowing that he’s on the path to thinking for himself.? I encourage everyone to give their child choices if you don’t already, but my advice is start very small.