It is a regular question I hear parents ask:
Should I give my child choices and if so, how often and in what circumstances?
It is a question that is answered in many extremes across the world of parenting advice, but how is the subject approached from a Continuum perspective?
Jean Liedloff once said on the subject of choice:
“We give far too many choices and we give them far too early. It leads to frustration and fury and parents then trying to figure out why their children are so angry. We keep giving them more choices, saying, “well, what would you rather do?” and the children get even more furious because that’s what’s making them angry and they can’t explain themselves. As to alternatives to giving choices, it’s hard to take it out of context. Let’s just for the moment talk about one child and one parent. A mother at breakfast saying, “would you like to have rice crispies or corn flakes?” to a three-year-old should just put it down on the table, whatever she is serving. What the child needs — and it also happens to be more convenient for the parent — is to feel that the parent is authoritative, calm, self-reliant, and knows what she’s doing. She shouldn’t keep asking the child because at only two years old children don’t want to be expected to know what to do. They want the parent to know.”
To those who are not familiar with the Continuum Concept, this may come across as a particularly dictatorial style of parenting, preventing children from freedom over their own choices. However, freedom over ones self is an integral aspect of The Continuum Concept, so I want to delve further in to the way freedom and choices are approached from a Continuum perspective.