Every child has the right under The United Nations Convention on the Rights Of the Child to be involved in decisions that may affect them. If a child makes their own choices, they will learn, enjoy and achieve more. This is why as carers we plan around the child’s interest.
If a child makes choices, they learn that when given a choice that they can only chose one. This is a learning curve. We support children to make choices, and this can mean that sometimes children will have to wait for certain choices e.g. if a child is playing with a toy and the child wants a turn, then they have to wait until the other child has finished for their turn. This helps them understand that they are not always allowed their choices immediately. Most children make choices everyday without realising that they are doing so, such as what clothes to wear. This gives them a sense of control over their day.
Choices can also be made on not to take part in an activity such as climbing, so give them a choice of two activities such as climbing or a hill walk. The child will feel valued that they have a choice and chose the one that they would like to participate in. For younger children it is important for them to have limited choices as too much choice can confuse them, where as an older child can visualise and decide which choice they would like to make e.g. the choice between a variety of breakfast cereals. They would understand which choice would suit them better.
With older children when you talk to them you are giving them a voice, they listen, choose and make their own decisions, whatever you are talking about. If you ask an older child what game would you like to play with, they will go off and fetch you the game that they would like to play. With younger children they may need a little guidance by taking them to where the games are, but they can still choose and might not play the game the way it is meant to be played but as carers...
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