Do we give small children too many choices?

I have one extremely amazing, but equally extremely challenging 4-year-old. It’s been like that since about 2.4 . She was such an easy baby, luring me into a false sense of security about having another.. which transpired into this time being a major operation, colicky nightmare in which I had to  deal with the  once angelic homebirth baby, who was sleeping though at 6 months but now was a  not so charming two-year-old..but so far the colicky baby boy is  being a quite an easy two-year-old in comparison… But I am not heavily pregnant and it’s not boiling hot and a new experience to me so WHO KNOWS!

Anyway while I was going out of my mind trying to deal with the challenging behaviour I learnt something that REALLY helped us.


Wow in this ‘choice based ‘ society that sounds pretty radical.. but actually for some young children( and, of course, I can only speak for my own) it is a better option.

I know when I was pregnant dealing with professionals (ie midwives) I HATED having so many choices. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. YOUR THE EXPERTS!

I first cottoned on to this when out for lunch with my sister in law who just told their cousin  what she was having for lunch. The was a revelation for me.. but it caused NO fuss. Where, I would naturally give a 4-year-old options about selecting what they want to eat. Do they really know that? I am not sure mine does.

Lyla’s teacher at school (who is super amazing ) offered the same tactic when dealing with the issue of ‘ Can you put your shoes/jacket/clothes on’. Instead of asking. Just tell them what’s happening. ‘ We are putting our shoes on now ‘ if there is a WHY? Because that what we do. no more questions.. that is the answer.

It has been a bit of revolutionary parenting advice for me so I thought I would share with anyone who might be having a tough time with a kid that likes to not conform!






10 thoughts on “Do we give small children too many choices?

  1. I’m about to embark on the terrible twos so need all the help I can get to be honest. I don’t tend to give too many choices thinking about it, so at least that’s a start…. #justanotherlinky


  2. This is spot on. I think sometimes we think we’re being better parents by offering choice but someone planning for us makes us feel safe. Even as an adult it’s so nice if my husband says, hey get ready for 7pm we’re going out and I’ve booked somewhere. No pressure. #justanotherlinky

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is really interesting as I was having the same conversation with my mum the other day. We have a 2yr old who is a really good communicator and we sometimes forget how young she is. I give her 2 choices for everything and get a lot of aggro and tantrums from her over the last couple of months. My mum said maybe Mia gets confused and cant cope with me giving her choices so this week I have been trialling out telling her what to do instead of making her choose and I have to say she is responding to me better than she had been! Its so difficult to know what to do! 🙂



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