By watching children, adults and myself over the years, I really have come to understand — Your Life is Made Up of Your Choices and You Can Make Different Choices at Any Time! I believe teaching children eartly in life about making choices can he helpful ALL through their life!
I would love to share some of my thoughts on Choice Making. After raising 2 children, teaching for 27 years, and taking many, many classes on discipline, this is what I have learned
1. Life is made up of your choices.
2. Children need to be responsible and understand their choices.
3. Children need to understand that their choices have consequences –good and bad.
There are good choices which usually have good consequences and you feel happy.
There are bad choices which usually have unhappy consequences and you feel sad.
Each child gets to choose what choice they make and that they can always make a different choice next time.
Understanding how different choices make you feel differently, is important to understand how your life if affected by the choices you make.
When first talking about choices, stop child various times during the day and talk about the choice he/she is making. Make them good and bad choices. If they are happy, let them continue, but if they are not happy, talk to they about why and what could THEY do differently next time. This helps them learn to be responsible for their choices and to learn to make better ones. Sometimes catching them when they are making a good choice and say, “You are making a good choice!” can be helpful. Even a little chart could be fun! Everytime they make a good choice , or better yet, when they change a bad choice to a good choice, have them put a little plus on the chart (you would be surprised what a little + can do :)). When they complete the chart, give them a reward–time with you — doing something fun is a fabulous reward!!!
Instead of punishing a child for a bad choice, I feel it’s more helpful to talk with him/her about what they could do differently. I think this is wonderful to start when they are little and by the time they are teens! you have established this wonderful way of handling problems!
The goal is to get to the point where you just smile and say, “Make a better choice!”
Being a teacher you can not use violence. Usually when someone uses violence, they are out of control! I loved using this technique with children and hope you will too!
If you have any questions or want to know more, please email me!
Hope this has been helpful!