On their second year, kids start their journey towards independence and they need their parents to help them “write their declaration of independence” before they can sign it and go their own way. The longer they work on this, the more opportunities they have to receive guidance, try different things, make mistakes in a safe environment and become skilled at making choices.
Independence is all about making our own choices. The choices children make are small at first, but we all know that one day they will need to make big choices and our job as parents is to help them enjoy the process and trust their own judgment.
How to give your kids choices
1. Start early. When your kids are very young, it is much easier to give them choices, because they are not sophisticated enough to notice that your choices have boundaries around them. For example, if you want them to drink their milk, you can say, “Do you want your milk in the blue cup or the green cup?” It may take more than one time to get them to realize they have a choice, but you get them to drink the milk and give them a choice at the same time.