If you are a parent then you are well aware of how much children love to be in charge! They enjoy making choices, engaging in things that interest them, and being a part of decision making. You are also well aware that letting kids make all the decisions is not possible.
There are, however, some ways that you can help support your children's autonomy and create opportunities for them to be in the drivers seat! One of my favorite strategies is by offering up 2-3 things that you are okay with, but allowing them to choose between them.
This often looks like:
-pulling 2 outfits for the toddler to pick from while getting dressed for the day
-letting your preschooler decide how much more time to stay at the park (2,5,10 minutes)
-having your 7 year old pick their friends b-day gift off of the wish list
-letting your 10 yo choose what is for dinner 1 night/week
By offering up opportunities throughout the day that are normal parts of the routine, your child will feel more in control and you will have less power struggles. Which is always a win win.
We also love to use books to tackle tough topics (see my book list here). The Power to Choose series is a wonderful collection of books and accessories that illustrate how the choices that we make throughout our day impacts the events that occur. Each book has multiple stories throughout that change depending on what the characters, Danny or Darla, do. Your child has the opportunity to dictate the characters decisions and see how the story ends! I remember having chapter books growing up where I was able to do this and always had so much fun. Do you remember those??
We always have great conversations around why the story ended they way that they did (focus is always on how making positive choices equals a better day). Its also fun to watch my kids have the characters make the "not so nice" choices and project how their mood is that day!
Check out the books below. Click each image to read a description in a new window!
Watch my YouTube video on the importance of offering children choices!