Nevertheless, you can not leave many decisions to your child on their own, because they could make decisions that harm their health: your little one, for example, could "decide" that brushing your teeth once a week would be enough. On your own, your child could simply do things that you do not want, such as putting on the princess costume in the rainy weather in the forest.
If you want your child to be able to make decisions within a safe environment, then organize your everyday life in such a way that you have the freedom to choose between alternatives that you specify. It can brush its teeth now or after the bedtime story. It can choose between two dishes that are both healthy and fit.
How to help your toddler decide
Your baby's own feelings are often a big mystery to themselves. Her little one sometimes does not know what it feels like at the moment, and often does not remember what it felt like last time in a similar situation. In addition, your child can not predict what it will feel like in the future or what consequences certain decisions will have. And that makes decisions for your child so difficult.
"Do you want to stay here with me or go shopping with dad?" Seems to be a simple question and a far-reaching decision. But the answer is neither obvious nor unimportant to your toddler. What is more fun? What was the last time fun? What does your child feel like doing now? All that your little one does not know - and can not know. And that's why it hesitates and fluctuates between the alternatives back and forth. Finally, you decide for your child, who is now unhappy with both alternatives - at home with mom or dad in the store. Of course your child has to learn to make his own decisions. That's part of growing up.
But your child learns this faster and is happier when it can practice on decisions that have nothing to lose. If it's allowed to have two sweets and you ask, "And which one do you eat first?" Then it can handle this question stress-free. It gets both sweets. Nobody takes away the second choice. And if it wants, it can also change six times.
Parents are sometimes amazed at how vehemently their three- or four-year-olds defend what they wear or do not want to wear. It is not only about finding your own style of clothing, but also to find your own "I". Clothes are part of the self-image and they reflect the image that I present to the world of myself. Who or what would your child like to be? Or how would you like to be perceived today? And if there is a group of children playing with your little one, how does it behave in this group?
Your child is not old enough to select and buy clothes on their own, it may not even be old enough to select the clothes they wear during the day. But it still has some say - after all, it wears the clothes on its own body. Why should it subordinate itself to the taste of another person?
Offer your child two or three variations - appropriate and acceptable to you - and then let your child choose freely. Try to be fair. If the individual components are okay, why should not your little one even be able to combine a purple T-shirt with orange pants?
It's tiring to get excited about clothes in the morning. Maybe it's better for your child to pick the things to wear the next morning the night before.
If choosing between two or three outfits does not work, try the following: Remove all clothing that is not appropriate for the weather. Lay festive clothes aside. And then let your child choose freely from the rest. Sometimes, however, the selection is too big and your child shoots at a small selection of favorite clothes consisting of two skirts, two tights and three sweatshirts.
Whatever your choice of clothing, make sure your child's garments are as easy as possible to handle: rather than using complicated zippers, choose buttons or snaps that your little one can handle alone. Unless your child absolutely wants zips! Otherwise you prefer to stay with pants and skirts with elastic at the waist and you prefer Velcro closures. Remove tiring extras like gloves and caps when you are not needed. And if you depend on these "accessories", then sew or tie them to the other clothes - so they will not get lost.
How do I promote the decision-making ability of my child?
You can also boost your child's decision-making ability by letting it participate in your way of making decisions. Of course, you should not bore or overwhelm your child by discussing any matter with him. But some topics - such as choosing a birthday present - are understandable to children.
For example, you might say, "Mm, I'm thinking about what to give Aunt Annemarie for my birthday. Look, I saw that vase and that blue door wreath, too. The door wreath is pretty, but also very big. And she definitely likes the vase, but she already has so many. What do you think she would be most looking forward to? "Or" I'm not sure what to wear today. What do you think is nicer? This one? Yes, that's nice, but it could be cold too. Mhm, maybe I'll take it and put on a cardigan about it. "So your child can experience how adults handle decisions and learn to weigh pros and cons.
Knowing that children must learn to make decisions teaches us not to be too strict. If there is no problem in changing a decision, we should not confuse consistency with stubbornness. We can explain that in this situation it is still possible to change your mind.
Of course, there will be other situations in which the child learns to handle the finality of (possibly bad) decisions. Then he has to help him, to live with it, to give comfort and to cheer him up. A "You see, I told you!" Does not help in such places at all. More appropriate is an attitude that conveys to your child: "We all make mistakes. And we learn from mistakes. Come, I'll comfort you. "