Making decisions is important to learn for children, it also makes them feel confident and lets them know that what they want also matters.
Your children can make decisions even if they are a toddler, they already know very well what they want.
Letting toddlers make their own decisions can be hard as a parent, you need to step back and keep your own opinion to yourself, even if they made the wrong decision. They need to learn that there are consequences, good and bad ones.
Making decisions is important to learn and you can start teaching them when they are a toddler. Start by giving your toddler small things to make a decision about, like what they wear or with what they want to play. Give them two or three options, when they get too many options they might get overwhelmed.
The things you let your toddler make a decision on might seem like small things to you, but it’s important for your toddler. Here are some small things that your toddler can decide.
What to wear.
Toddlers already know what they want to wear, give them an option between two or three outfits. I do this with my toddler and I have no fights in the morning to get her dressed, she choose it after all.
I even give her the decision of what outfits I buy for her, that way she likes her clothes and she feels confident when she wears it.
What snack or fruit they eat.
This can also begin in the store when you do the groceries together. Ask her if she rather has the pear or the apple, or give her the choice between crackers and cereal.
What is for dinner
You don’t have to let your toddler decide every day what you eat for dinner but it makes them feel good if you ask every now and then. The chance is also bigger that she eats that evening because she wanted it.
How much to eat
Don’t force your toddler to empty their plate, when they say that they’re done then that is fine. Letting a toddler decide when she’s not hungry anymore will help them listen to their body.
Who to kiss and hug
If your toddler doesn’t want to kiss their grandma or hug their aunt that’s okay, don’t force them to do so, sorry grandma and auntie. Your toddler needs to learn about consent, it’s their body and no one should force them to do something that they’re uncomfortable with.
Who and what they play with,
Don’t force your toddler to play with a doll when she likes to play with cars now and don’t force her to play with someone she doesn’t want to play with. Maybe the other child makes her feel uncomfortable and you don’t want to hang out with someone you don’t feel comfortable with either.
Which book to read or what movie to watch
Ask your toddler which bed time story they want to hear or what movie you watch for movie night, it will make them feel important and they will for sure enjoy it.
My daughter makes all of these decisions herself and I’m slowly letting her make more decisions, helping her by explaining what happens when she makes certain choices.
I love to see the smile on her face when I ask her what she wants.
Do you let your toddler make decisions? If so, tell me in the comments what your toddler can make decisions on.