Encouraging Autonomy Through Freedom of Choice

Encouraging Autonomy Through Freedom of Choice

Self-confidence is an essential quality for every human being for a fulfiling and happy life. It is a quality that is acquired from an early age and that will allow us to move forward despite fear, to overcome and face challenges.

In order to help your child to be more confident allow them to make choices in the right context: doing so develops their autonomy. We let them know that we trust their decisions. If children know the adults in their lives trust them, they will begin to trust themselves. When a person has confidence in their own abilities, their thoughts and energy can be put into new ideas.

However, too many choices can lead to frustration and conflict, when a younger child thinks they can have it all, but then learn they can not. When you limit the number of choices you offer, you give your child a sense of control and allow them to make decisions within the boundaries you choose. 

For example:

"Do you want to put on the red or the blue shoes today?"

"Do you prefer beans or spinach for dinner?"

Giving your child options shows them that their choice matters and that they are respected and considered.

As parents, we want them to know that their "No" is accepted by us, and they have the right to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings.