All of us have situations in which there aren’t any choices, like work requirements. Children need to learn that they don’t always have a choice. Sometimes decisions are made by parents or other adults.
For example, parents are responsible for their children’s safety. Dr. Sue Grossman, Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan reminds parents that children can’t play with everything, like the stove or burner controls when helping make cookies. (1)
Primary and Secondary Decisions
Sometimes they can’t do something because of time constraints, like when parents need to drop the children off at pre-school and get to work. Parents make the primary decision, it’s time to get ready, but then children can make subsequent, secondary choices, like what to wear or whether they want to pour in flour or chocolate chips for the cookies.
Dr. Grossman adds, “When children know that they will be given sufficient opportunities to choose for themselves, they are more willing to accept those important ‘no choice’ decisions adults must make for them.” (1)
1. Offering Children Choices: Encouraging Autonomy and Learning While Minimizing Conflicts, Sue Grossman, Ph.D., Early Childhood News, 2007. www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?…607. Accessed 3/25/2014.