This One Parenting Technique will Completely Change the Way You Speak to Your Toddler

It can be difficult to think of children as humans with their own autonomy and opinions since they can appear so helpless. Adults often do not stop to think about offering their little ones choices during the day, because they assume they know best or are running on autopilot.

Most often, parents offer children what they think they should be eating or which toy they should be playing with.

However, just like adults want to be in charge of the choices they make, it can benefit children to feel like they have control in their lives. This can start at an early age.

Offering kids choices allows them to feel empowered in their lives. Offering choices also gives the adult the ability to redirect the child’s attention to tasks that they should be focussing on.

By learning how to make decisions and control impulses from an early age, children learn to take accountability for their emotions and feelings.

Online resources like BetterHelp provide access to highly trained and competent mental health professionals at the tip of your fingers to seek guidance and support. With some advice and professional help, one may be able to overcome challenges and improve relationships with their kid.

Toddler Parenting Technique

Let Children Choose Among Choices That You Offered and Approved

This parenting technique could completely change the way you speak to your toddler. Consider the following suggestions. You can adapt this technique in your daily life by using four simple steps:

  • Often toddlers ask difficult things from their parents. These may include simple things, like eating ice cream, or potentially dangerous ones, like crossing the road on their own.

    Do not outright deny permission to your child. This can make them more grumpy, irritable, or prone to tantrums, and can backfire into wanting to do the thing they’re told not to.

  • Instead, offer them a chance to choose between two options. Kids want and expect their parents to provide structure and make critical decisions. It helps them feel safe.

    While it is great to give kids a say in things, too many choices can overwhelm them or put too much pressure on them. So the fundamental rule to remember is that you must only give choices that you can agree to and in a limited manner.

  • Let them feel empowered and in control while preventing them from falling into dangerous situations. Being able to make choices helps give children a sense of control in their lives and their environment. It also teaches them about responsibility.
  • Remember to be consistent in letting toddlers make a choice. If you give children options once, but not the next time, they may get frustrated and protest. Children are learning about power and boundaries, so parents can help ensure that the child knows their limits.

Applying this technique to a real-world example

For example, instead of saying, “Don’t run across the parking lot,” you can say, “You can either hold my hand or I can carry you across the parking lot, which do you prefer?” This way, the child feels more in control, but they do not put themselves in any dangerous scenarios.

Additional examples

Here are some simple times when you could involve children in making choices. These situations are pleasant and will not put the child in harm’s way while allowing them to stay in control.

  • Getting Dressed – Let your children participate in dressing themselves by letting them choose between two shirts to wear.
  • At Mealtimes – Limit the choices that you offer to the toddler and give them two acceptable options. Make sure that both these options will achieve your desired outcome of a healthy meal.
  • Cleaning Up – Try letting your child decide if they want to pick up their books before dinner or after, rather than telling them to do it right then.
  • Family Decisions – Let your child pick between two movies to watch or two games to play during the evening.

Why Try This Out?

Offering choices to toddlers can be extremely beneficial in the long run, both for parents and children. Here are a few reasons:

Prevents tantrums

Children need to feel in control, and sometimes, tantrums are a manifestation of feeling powerless or weak. It is essential to allow your little one to feel in control whenever possible in order to avoid a grumpy mood or tantrums.

Teaches responsibility and fosters independence

Life is defined by the choices we make, and we must equip our children with decision-making skills. By building small decisions into the daily routine, you are teaching your child to be an active part of the decision-making process, which can be extremely beneficial in the future while entering the real world.

Improves parent-child relationship

The relationship between parent and child can thrive by giving one’s child choices and letting them make their own decisions.

The child will feel more empowered and may choose to cooperate more often. The child could feel more heard and connected to the parent.

In the end, parents will be looking for more ways to give their children choices.

Key Takeaway

According to this theory, the key to great parenting is to provide children with choices that empower them while minimizing the impact on routine or safety. By giving them options you have selected, kids tend to feel more independent and responsible, which will eventually help them in navigating through life.

The power of a small choice can go a long way in a child’s life, and as a parent, try to let them make that choice.

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