Make choices easier for your little one to decide on.

Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Choices

by Kelly Sundstrom

Do your toddlers and preschoolers seem to have a difficult time making choices? With so many products in stores and so much available to kids these days, who wouldn't have a hard time? You can encourage your little one to become more decisive by organizing a few fun activities that will teach kids how to make informed choices.

1. Set Up a Scenario

Instead of asking your child to choose something in the moment, set up a scenario ahead of time so that she can prepare in advance for a decision that she has to make. This can get your child time to think about making a choice, instead of feeling overly pressured. Say to your child, "Let's imagine that you have to decide between getting a puppy and a kitten; which one would you choose?" You can make the choice topic about anything you want in order to fit any situation where she must make a decision.

2. Talk It Out

If your little one still has a hard time making choices, try talking it out. Write down a list of her choices, and ask her questions about what is causing her to be indecisive. Does she feel like she likes more than one thing, and cannot decide between them? Or, does she feel bad for choosing one thing over another? Talking to her may make her feel more clear about why she has difficulty making a choice, and will help her narrow down her decision-making so that she can make a choice more easily later.

3. Maybe Next Time...

Children often feel so torn between two things that they just cannot choose. Your little one may really want both a chocolate ice cream cone and a strawberry one. Instead of eliminating one of the ice cream choices, explain to your child how to say, "maybe next time." You can demonstrate this to your child by saying something like, "I really love both chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Today I will choose strawberry, and maybe next time I will get the chocolate." When you say "maybe next time," it helps your child understand that making a choice does not mean she will never get to try the item she rejected.

4. Change Is OK

Does your toddler or preschooler have a difficult time dealing with change? Little children can stress out about change and inconsistency, which often leads to tantrums and melt-downs when they have to make a choice. Start small to help your child understand that change is OK. Set up a choice for her that is minor, like choosing between an apple and a banana as a snack, and lead up to bigger decisions later once she feels comfortable making a choice. After choosing between smaller things for a while, ask your child to choose between something larger, like what she wants to wear or how she wants to fix her hair.

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