Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Giving Children a Choice (even when it's not the choice you'd choose)

Some things are non-negotiable.
There is no bargaining or bribery allowed.
You eat what's on the table.
You do not run out in the street.
You don't hit or pick up Little Bear
(Barrett is Baker's new baby brother, known around here as Little Bear, and Baker thinks every grunt or whimper is an excuse to hold him. Wrong my sweet child. Very, very no.).
But for all the others, we give a choice.
This shirt, or that shirt?
Mickey Mouse or Curious George?
Love You Forever for the millionth time or this wonderfully exciting new book?
A bath or a shower?
Swing or slide?
Oreo or Chocolate Chip?
Five minutes on the iPad or five minutes on mommy's phone?
Make your bed first or brush your teeth first?
A little trim or a funky new 'do?
After a few minutes browsing together on Pinterest, Baker made his choice.
It may not have been what I would have chosen.
How was I to know that a few minutes in the salon chair and a few snips from Mrs. Brittney's sharpest would age my toddler years and years?

With every mirror we passed, he checked his hair
(or begged to be lifted to check it out once again),
and gave this adorable little wink at himself.
Every morning, he waits for the routine to sit on the counter and helps me style it just right.
He is so proud of his new look.
He is so very proud of his choice.
And I'm pretty smitten with this handsome boy of mine who is growing in confidence with every choice he makes.

Well, almost every choice.
I have to pull the Mom card on some choices!

Controlled choices for children is key.
This one or that one.
Or which of these three?
Or which one first - knowing all the while every single tooth will be brushed
and every blasted truck tucked into the toy garage.
Even I am overwhelmed on the paint aisle at Lowes.
Forty-seven different variations of gray?
No thank you.
And don't even get me started on those Coke Freestyle machines.
Making choices is empowering.
It is confidence building.
Independence instilling.
It's toughest on mamas, when our children don't need us for everything.
But is so worth it when they proudly make a good choice,
or learn a lesson from a less than desirable one.
White eyeliner or butterfly clips, anyone?
What choices do you give your children, and at what age?
How have they responded?

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