Thursday, 21 June 2012

Children and Making Choices

How often do you find yourself struggling to make a choice?

From simple everyday matters, like not knowing which dress to buy or which restaurant to eat at to more complex decisions related to your personal and professional lives.

How often do you rely on others to make choices for you or to approve of your choices, before you go ahead and implement them?

How often do you doubt your own choices and feel that you are not capable of making the right choices?

Well, no one makes right choices all the time. But the fear of not making the right choice must not stop us from going ahead and making a choice that seems best under any given circumstance.

This is exactly what happened to many of us when we were children. Often, the adults in our lives,well intentioned no doubt, did not trust us enough to let us make our own choices. We were thought of as young and inexperienced and thereby incapable of making choices. And many of us continue to feel the same way well into adulthood.

What if we were given the opportunity to make choices from a very young age? Right from what we liked to eat at a restaurant, to which dress we would want to wear to a party, to how much we would like to eat for lunch and what hobbies we would like to pursue. We would probably be better equipped to make bigger choices today.

Encourage children, yes even the very young ones, to make several choices that they are capable of making. Whenever there is scope for the child to make a choice, allow her to make it. This habit ingrained in the child from a young age, will build confidence in the self and the child would carry the same in her consciousness as she grows into an adult.

Trust the child.

Sounds difficult?

Start practising.

Remember how you felt as a child when you were not trusted by the adults around you? When you knew something was right for you at that moment but no one seemed to understand. That is exactly how the children in our lives feel right now when we make all their choices for them.

Trusting the child does not mean that she will make perfect choices all the time. It means giving her the freedom to choose, while ensuring her safety and well being at the same time. It also means being willing to accept the fact that some choices could be wrong. But then making wrong choices is also part of learning in life!

So, go ahead. Do not be afraid. Encourage children to make choices wherever possible and watch them blossom into confident young people, capable of making choices whenever life requires them to do so. 

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