ASK MOM offers parents and caretakers two perspectives on today’s child-rearing issues--one from a mom with grown children, the other from a mom raising small children. If you're looking for creative solutions, or your mom isn't around to ask, drop in!
THE ISSUE: I’ve always heard how important it is to let children make their own decisions about little things, which I try to do with my three-year-old daughter. (What shirt to wear to school, if she wants to go to the park, etc.) But it feels like it’s backfiring on me! She takes forever to make a decision! She also becomes resistant to anything I suggest, and even throws tantrums when she can’t have her way. Help!
MARY SAYS: When children are young, they need trusted adults to show them how to make wise decisions. A three-year-old doesn’t want to be in charge—it’s too scary! Your daughter’s ability to make her own decisions will mature after watching you make decisions for her. Instead of presenting multiple options, offer her one and tell her why you’ve chosen it: “We’re having oatmeal today because it’s cold outside and it will warm you up!” Gradually, she will ‘get it’ after watching you, and she will be able to make her own decisions with confidence—and without tantrums.
KRISTI SAYS: I'm right in the thick of things with my threenager. If your kids are like mine, they say they want something one way, then change their minds moments later! It drives me crazy! The most important thing is that when a tantrum ensues, don't try to placate your child or give her whatever she wants. This will only teach her that fits work. Go ahead and let her have a fit (in a safe place of course). When she's calmed down, she's much more likely to be a reasonable human. I find that too many choices can be overwhelming. I stick with letting my kids make choices when time doesn't matter, and only giving them two options when it does.
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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
ABOUT MARY FOLLIN
Mary is the author of TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ and ETHYR, winner of the Moonbeam Children's Book Award and the Gertrude Warner Book Award. She is mom to two grown sons and enjoys sharing her more seasoned perspective with parents of younger children.
ABOUT KRISTI CROSSON
Kristi Crosson is a freelance writer, homeschooling mom of three children, and author of Healthy Mom Revolution, a blog that offers insights on healthy parenting.
Suzanne Johnson, mother of five children and grandmother of six, is an illustrator, book cover designer, and author of the Realms of Edenocht series.
Gertrude Warner Book Award
Moonbeam Children's Book Award
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