Do you have a preschooler who has difficulty making decisions? If so, knowing how best to support them can be challenging. You want your child to learn how to make sound decisions when faced with choices, but you also don’t want them to feel anxious or frustrated.
Fortunately, there are strategies that parents can use to help their indecisive preschoolers feel empowered in decision-making and more confident in their abilities.
Read on as Salt Lake City’s preeminent preschool and daycare provider, Lit’l Scholars Learning Center, shares five practical tips every parent should consider when helping their little one navigate the uncertain waters of childhood indecision.
1). Be Patient
The first thing you need to do is be patient. It’s important to remember that your child is still learning and growing. They’ll get there eventually! Just give them some time and space to figure things out. And don’t try to rush them because you are in a hurry.
2). Avoid Making Decisions for Them
The temptation to make decisions for your child when they seem indecisive can be strong, but it is important to remember that this will only stifle their growth. Rather than do their thinking and decision-making for them, allow your child the space to decide independently.
It may take longer than you’d like, but it is an essential step in your child’s development and will enable them to learn decision-making skills that will serve them well in the future. Step back and trust that if you give them the time and support they need, your child can make wise decisions without you having to intervene.
3). Offer Limited Choices
One way to help your child decide is to offer them limited choices. This will help them narrow down their options and make it easier for them to choose. “Start teaching your young child how to make decisions by giving them two options, both of which you are okay with them selecting,” says Grace Berman, LCSW, a clinical social worker. “For example, let them decide if they want to wear their red shoes or blue shoes, or give them two options to choose from on a restaurant menu.”1
4). Encourage Them to Try New Things
Another way to help your child is by encouraging them to try new things. They may be indecisive because they fear making the wrong choice or not liking something new. Help them overcome their fears by exposing them to new experiences and letting them know that it’s okay not to like everything they try.
5). Let Them Fail
Learning from mistakes is important. According to Kristin J. Carothers, Ph.D., a clinical child psychologist, “Experiencing failure helps kids gain valuable life experience. They learn to adapt to stress and push forward when things aren’t easy. To help kids learn from failure, ask them to reflect on what happened and problem-solve for next time.”2
Ensuring your preschooler makes good decisions can be tricky – but with a bit of patience and guidance, it doesn’t have to be hard! Remember that your child’s indecision is a normal part of the learning process! Let them try new things, let them fail, offer limited choices, avoid becoming the decision-maker for them, and above all else – remain patient during the process. With these tips, you’ll help ensure that your preschooler stays on the right track toward gaining essential decision-making skills.
Going through decisions as a young child can be overwhelming – that’s why Lit’l Scholars Learning Center is here to help! Our passionate and devoted teachers are dedicated to making the journey easier for children and their families. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive childcare service in the Salt Lake City area.