Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Importance of Choices

Having a very independent 3 year old has reminded me how important choices can be for young children. When I am tired, or in a hurry, I often find myself telling Phoebe what she needs to do (and to do it quickly!), which usually leads to a power struggle, and we both end the situation feeling frustrated.
When I take the time to stop, and give her a choice, things usually work much differently.  For some reason saying "We need to leave. Would you like to put on your boots or your fast-shoes now?" is entirely different than "We need to leave. Please put some shoes on now." Giving her control of something makes all the difference.
It's not a magic fix... sometimes, even with a choice, she will still refuse and throw a tantrum. But it definitely increase my odds of success.
I guess the real problem now is me. I have to remind myself that no matter how tired or stressed I am, how late I am running, or how little patience I have left-- I need to offer her those choices. An extra 20 seconds spent offering a choice can save a lot of time (and sanity) in the end.

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  1. The lessons we learn, eh? These little ones are pretty darn good teachers :)

  2. sounds like you know what you are doing! I think sometimes the kids are smarter than us :)

  3. My almost-three-year-old is the same way. Remembering to take the time to offer those choices (and figure out what options I'm offering) can be exhausting, but, as your say, the cooperation it inspires is almost always worth the effort!