Inside every child, is a human being with a huge amount of brain power. Children have an amazing capacity to learn, to express, to communicate, and to create.
Why then, don’t we let children make choices? Yes, we must stand by to guide and double check children’s decisions. However, we can still let children make decisions without giving up our authority. For instance, we know our children need a bath, but what is wrong with asking our children: “Would you like a bath before dinner or after dinner?” Try it. Giving children choices eliminates a lot of power struggles.
Here are other examples of choices for children. “Would you like to do your homework before or after your snack? ” “Would you like to have orange juice or milk for breakfast?” “Would you like to brush your teeth before or after you wash your last television. show? “” Would you like to clean your room this Saturday or after school during the week?”
Giving children choices allows children to practice making decisions. Confidence is expressed as the ability to be a decision maker. Giving children choices also allows children to feel like their opinions matter. Finally, giving children choices empowers them.
Building confidence in children, stems from the belief that we think our children are capable human beings. When we send our children the message that they are unique and powerful, we send the message that they are great individuals. On the other hand, when we make all the decisions for children, when we tell them what to do, and treat them like they cannot make decisions for themselves, we send the message that we do not believe they are capable enough to think for themselves. Unfortuately, this sets a destructive pattern that can extend into children’s adult years.
Children build confidence by developing a strong capacity to think for themselves, and to steer their own destinies. Doing so, requires that adults around them step aside a little, and allow children to learn by their own trial and errors.