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Do you give your child choices?

My son hasn't been feeling good lately and has been mainly asking for water to drink. This morning he's laying on the couch, hands me his cup, and says More... So I asked if he wanted water or juice. He said Juice, so I then asked if he wanted juice in his cup or a juice box... My MIL (to be) works at a daycare/preschool, and she overheard this exchange. She complimented me and said too many of her parents don't give their child choices... I've always done this, but now I'm wondering if anyone else does... My son decides on what shoes, shirts, or hat that he's wearing, whether or not he wants his sunglasses, what he wants to eat or drink... He's almost two and half by the way, so he's pretty young... I'm wondering how many other moms out there do this, and what's your reasoning for doing whichever?


Asked by momma_marian at 10:40 AM on Sep. 30, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (10)
  • If you remember one the goals of parenting is to raise kids who can function independantly in the world. In that big ole world they will need to make choices. So we let them practice at home. It starts when they can talk, we limit the perameters of course, but they have choices. Also kids in the preschool age don't control much. Sometimes this results in temper tantrums. A lot of these can be avoided if you give them appropriate choices. It also helps with language development. You can even extend it a bit and ask them why they choose what they pick. Then they have to use a bit higher reasoning. So yes I have always given my children choices within appropriate perameters. You know," no you can't have candy for breakfast, but how about some cereal or pancakes"

    Answer by teamquinn at 12:11 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • My 2-year-old is in the "no" phase, so I usually have to limit her choices to two. I might ask, "would you like an apple, or a banana?" If its, "NO!!" Then I say, "those are your choices or nothing at all." A friend of mine's child is in the "No" phase also and she tends to continue naming foods, toys, or whatever the subject of the convo, until the child is screaming, "NO!" I get frustrated just watching it! When my kiddo is out of this phase, she will have more choices and I will be able to ask her open-ended questions like, "What would you like to eat?" ;-)

    Answer by kenzie07 at 10:49 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Certain things I let her choose, like her clothes, jammies, breakfast food, park or walk, etc. But when it comes to drinks I usually give her 2 choices, or sometimes non at all depending on how much juice or milk she's already had to drink, because then she'd keep drinking it and the sugar gives her diarrhea. So it just depends on what it is but usually she has a choice. She's 3.

    Answer by tnm786 at 10:54 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • my daughter is 22 months and i give her choices between two things. like pink shorts or blue shorts, juice or milk, play doh or coloring. she is old enough now to tell me what she wants.. so its just nicer to give her choices instead of making them for her.

    Answer by emmalouwho at 11:07 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Well, My son tells me what shoes he wants to wear but if he had choices on clothes he'd never get in or out of his Pj's and only eat chicken nuggets. I don't want him to have chocies in dinnertime because i want him to eat what I make period - I don't want to make 3 different meals. but for drinks yeah, I ask if he wants milk or water etc -

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 11:25 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • I do. Not a 'what do you want' choice but an " a or b" choice.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:27 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Depends on the situation.

    Answer by LyTe684 at 12:41 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Mine always had choices on some things and the 2 at home still do (they are teens now). They could make this or that choices like choosing what they wanted to wear, what they wanted to eat for breakfast & lunch, what they wanted at snack time, what they wanted to drink, which cup they wanted to use, which TV show to watch, if they wanted to color or be read to, etc.. They couldn't choose to eat supper, that was never a choice....I made it and they ate it.

    Answer by tracylynnr67 at 12:58 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Mine always get choices when appropriate. Sometimes I am appalled at the clothes they want to wear, but as long as it is weather appropriate I allow it unless we are going somewhere for pictures or something like that. For dinner they must sit with the family and there is usually a variety of foods offered because that is how I cook. If they don't want to eat the peas then they can eat the rest of the meal type of thing. If they don't want to eat at all then their plate gets warmed up an hour later when they ask for a snack. For food I list 2-3 things we have and they get their choice. Clothes they can pick from a certain drawer (shorts are in one, pants in another, long sleeve another, etc.) and that way I ensure they are dressed weather appropriately.

    Answer by aeneva at 2:34 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • I try to give my daughter choices, like i will pick out 2 sets of pajamas and ask her which she wants to wear. and at meals I'll give her options like do you want a sammy? (sandwhich) no. okay how about an apple? yeah. Okay, then she gets to eat an apple. Or i'll let her go right in the fridge and tell me what looks good, either by words or pointing.

    it just makes life so much easier, if i'm always trying to force her to do something it becomes a power struggle, but if i give her options (even in a small preapproved sense lol) then she cooperates a million times easier.

    But she just turned 2 a month ago, so the options don't always work so well, and sometimes I have to overrule her, lol.

    Answer by Pudge_Pie20 at 8:30 AM on Oct. 3, 2009