the parent dilemma: helping our children to make wise choices
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Being a mum of teenage boys, I am constantly trying to better the way I parent. The more I read and think about it, the more I realise that there is such a fine line between being too protective of my children and promoting independent decision making in my children.
So how does this affect my teaching practice and how can I help preschool families to empower their children. Preschool children focus on satisfying their immediate wants and are not likely to consider the outcomes of their actions. So, rather than telling your preschool child what they should do, better practice would be to help your children through the process of making good decisions. Just remember that consequences need to be simple for young children. The early years are an excellent time to start teaching our children the life skill of making wise choices.
Here are a few simple tips
Give your child chances to make decisions. Simple decisions such as offering 2 choices of sandwich fillings. “Would you like cheese or chicken on your sandwich today?”
Allow your child to make mistakes. Help your child see how they can learn from their mistakes.
Encourage your child to problem solve. Let your child help find solutions to problems. “We have run out of bread for toast, what else can we eat for breakfast”
Discuss good and bad decision making . Use the stories that you read. “Do you think Goldilocks did the right thing when she went to the bears house without an invitation?”
Lift your child’s self esteem. A child that feels good about him or herself, will be confident in the decisions that they make. Praise your child’s efforts and encourage wise decision making.
I came across this wonderful proverb which implies exactly what I was thinking……….
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“You can give a man fish and he will eat well for a day, or you can teach him to fish and he will eat well his whole life”