It is essential to give children the opportunity to make choices, no matter how small, as it gives them positive messages about themselves. It enables them to be assertive and state their wishes in an acceptable way and conveys that they can be trusted to make their own decisions, even if they are different to the ones an adult may choose for them. The experience of feeling that you can be trusted to make your own decisions has a big impact on a child’s self-belief and sense of feeling valued and worthwhile, so it is crucial that adults provide as many opportunities for this as possible throughout the day. It also enables them to have first-hand experience of learning about choices and consequences, for example, if you choose to write with a pen then you can’t get rid of what you have written, whereas if you choose to write with a pencil you can.
- The importance of good working relationships
- Not making assumptions about children’s understanding
- My needs don’t matter – the danger of children being people pleasers
- Is this child “having a drama” or is it a lack of resilience?
- From snatching to sharing…..the benefits of emotionally focused group work