How to Help Children Make Choices: 3 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Choosing what she wants can be an overwhelming task for a child.

A quick trip to the toy store to let your child pick out a treat can easily stretch into hours of indecision as your little one beholds the bounty of playthings, paralyzed by too many options and unable to make a decision. Teaching young children to choose brings welcome closure to those endless toy-store stops, but it also lays the groundwork for kids to make good decisions as they grow older, and the stakes are higher than which kind of miniature car they take home.


  1. 1
    Give your child fewer options. In many cases, she just has too many things to choose from, and it overwhelms her to see all of the possibilities before her. When you're in that toy aisle, preview the toys yourself and pick out three or four. Once you've winnowed the options down, tell her, "Now you can select a toy from these only." It still may take her a while, but it won't be half as long as it would be if you let her stroll up and down the aisle endlessly.
  2. 2
    Provide opportunities for your child to make choices every day so that she can get in a habit of using her mind to work through her options. She'll have more and more choices to deal with as she gets older, and you aren't doing her any favors if you do everything for her. A young child can try to pick out her clothes each day or decide what kind of sandwich she wants for lunch. Give her a few items to choose from, and allow her time to make the decision on her own. If she has trouble, make suggestions like, "Well, it's going to be warm tomorrow, so maybe the long-sleeve shirt isn't a good idea."
  3. 3
    Ask questions of your child after she has chosen something and had a little time to live with her decision. You might say, "Are you enjoying the toy that you picked? Do you think you like it better than the fire truck you chose not to get?" Listen to her as she responds, and when the opportunity to pick again comes up, remind her of the things she learned the last time. Ask her if she wants to make the same decision again, or try something new -- maybe a ball instead of a car. Make your selection of limited options with those decisions in mind, so she can apply her newly acquired experience to the task.

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