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Howcan you helpyour child make decissions?

My 5 year old has a horrible time making ANY choice. It can be a simple as what would you like for snack? You can give her a choice between a cookie or an apple to break it down to just 2 choices. You can even say today we're having yogurt for snack and she can break down in tears. "It's to hard." If you say ok no snack it's "butI'mhungry" with the most pitiful tears rolling down her cheeks. I honestly think she has trouble making a choice and have come to the end of my rope on how to help her.

Any ideas?


Asked by baconbits at 10:44 PM on Mar. 25, 2014 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 26 (27,278 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Does she choose ANYTHING in her life? WHat toys to play with? What shoes to wear?

    Let her know ANY decision she makes is fine, and there are no wrong answers for snacks.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:35 PM on Mar. 25, 2014

  • How is she about choosing what she wears, toys she plays with, tv programs she watches, or friends she plays with? I'd also check with the school to see if she has the same difficulty there.
    Maybe when offering a snack let her think about it for a minute and then make the choice for her.

    Answer by abecee at 7:14 AM on Mar. 26, 2014

  • Give her the choices and let her be. Let her know if you/she might run out of time to make the decision. Set a timer if you have to. I know a child like this and his mom gives him as much time and space as he needs, but she is clear if they don't have much time. It takes all the patience she can muster. The child has always been like this and is 9 now. Sometimes he can make the decision and sometimes the mom has to cut things short and say "sorry, time's up". She stay super calm and no yelling. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes not. But staying calm and giving clear directions/supervision is best. This mom is assuming this will be a permanent personality characteristic, but some children probably outgrow it. GL

    Answer by silverthreads at 7:53 AM on Mar. 26, 2014

  • My 10 yr old is not that bad, but he is very indecisive. I've found that what works for us is that I give him a time limit, and I also tell him that if he doesn't make the choice, I'll make it for him. The idea that I might choose for him and choose what he doesn't want seems to goad him into realizing what he does want.

    If it's something that I can't narrow his choice on (say, choosing what to give his brother for his birthday), and I don't want to take his choice away, then I give him the time limit, but I also try to get him to narrow his choices himself. I ask him if he could only have 2 or 3 things to choose from, which 2 or 3 would that be? Once he tells me, then I keep him focused on those 2 or 3 things, and try to get him to choose from them.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:18 AM on Mar. 26, 2014

  • If she will not choose, choose for her.  If she has a fit because of it. Tell her then she will not get anything then.

    at that age I didn't give my kids choices. I told them what they were getting.


    Answer by louise2 at 10:00 AM on Mar. 26, 2014

  • I have somewhat the same issue with my son (though he is only 2). He wants me to let him make choices, but it is hard for him. Take for example, when I let him pick a movie to watch. After 20 minutes, I narrow it down to 2, then it's "this one", "no no, that one", "no, no I want this one" for 15 minutes before I tell him the next title he says is the one I am putting in.
    Start with small things I guess, like toys. She can pick which toy to play with, praise her for making a decision, any decision. That is what I do. DS is usually good about choosing his snack, but I kind of lead it. "Do you want crackers for snack today?" If he says, yes he gets crackers, if he says no, I ask him what he would rather have. Maybe if you lead it like that it might be easier?

    Answer by AF4life at 12:04 AM on Mar. 26, 2014

  • I started with mine with clothing choices when they were around three. Two choices only.
    If you say would you like an apple or a cookie and she will not choose then put them away. She says she is hungry. Take them out an put them on the table for her to reach for one. When she does tell her no that she needs to say it in words.
    If she has difficulty tell her, like this, I want the apple. and have her repeat it.
    No choice no snack. She will not die and she will not be emotionally scarred.
    Being a parent is seriously difficult sometimes.
    I would also be watchful of when she might be in a choice situation when others are around. Do others make her feel fearful of making the "right" choice?
    How is she in school about choices?

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:09 AM on Mar. 26, 2014

  • A time limit helps them decide.

    Answer by offandon at 10:16 AM on Mar. 26, 2014