Too Many Choices: Moms Do You Make this Mistake?
What would you like to do today? Go to the pool? Set up a play date? What shoes to wear? Booth or table? What toppings?
Summer is packed with choices for kids and moms. And as a mom, you may be used to giving your kids lots of choices. You want them to grow up strong, able to make decisions. That’s a worthy goal. You also want to be fair as a parent, so why not let them make choices for things that affect them?
If you find your summer ends up behind schedule and melting down because every decision point ends up a hassle, do a quick check on whether a tune-up on decision-making is in order.
Age appropriate decision-making
Experts say you should let your kids make decisions appropriate for their age. But what is that? Why not let your four-year-old pick out a shirt from twelve in the closet? Turns out that offering too many choices too soon can make kids anxious, and feel like nobody is in charge.
We love this article from Livestrong. Some takeaways:
- For young kids, limit the number of choices and give options within the choices. Instead of having them choose from a dozen shirts, make it: red shirt or blue?
- All ages, health and safety come first, so you’re in charge of those decisions.
- For older kids, guide them through the decision-making process by talking about options and consequences. If they make a poor decision, skip the guilt-trip and create an opportunity for learning. How could they choose better next time?
Setting your kids up for success with others, school, and work
We also like this article. Bottom line, from a young age, children need to learn that their choices affect other people. If their preferences dictate what they wear, what they eat, where everyone goes, and how long you stay, they develop an unreal sense of how the world works, and have a hard time meeting the demands of school, work, and relationships.
Giving kids choices is a balancing act, like everything in parenting. If you let your kids hear aloud your process in making decisions, they’ll learn to make better judgments themselves. For example, explaining why you’re choosing E6 Energy shots instead of a sugary soda is one way to help kids learn to think through a choice, particularly around healthy eating.