Helping Your Child Learn How to Make Choices

I remember in my earlier days of motherhood how frazzled and stressed out I was. I was amazed that this tiny creature at such a young age already had her own thoughts, ideas an opinions and made it very clear that she wanted to be heard! I found myself constantly struggling and in the midst of a never ending battle with a 17lb tiny terrorist, as I called her. I was anxious and constantly on edge and frustrated with this entire concept of “parenting”. Where the hell was the manual on how to do this right? One of the greatest lesson I learned early on was about how to help them make choices. Everyone wants freedom, independence and the power of choice. As these tiny little ones transition from infants into toddlers, their sense of individuality and independence starts to blossom and with that the battles begin – but we don’t always have to see this as a power struggle.


My husband and I are both “type A” and opinionated, we are both “Always right” and it took years for us to find balance with each other and learn compromise. I knew when I had a child that I was destined for an even more headstrong little one with the two of us as parents and with that we were sent our sweet Alexa. A petite pixie of a child with shining blue eyes and wild platinum hair that can never be tamed, much like her spirit. For me, as a mother and woman, I struggled with finding balance in letting her be an individual, not breaking her spirit but still trying to guide her as she navigates this world. I found that for the most part our battles during the day were about control, we both wanted it and neither of us were going to back down. So how the hell did I survive?

I learned to give her choices. When getting ready for school in the morning I would ask her, “Would you like cereal or waffles today” ? “Would you like a red cup or blue cup?” I constantly gave her two options and purposely asked her opinion on what she wanted as young as one year of age. I showed her that I cared about what she wanted and her opinion and in return earned her respect as a person, not just her parent. Yes, there are days that she would flip and neither choice was what she wanted but I’d stay firm and repeat, “You can have the blue cup or the pink one, those are your choices, if you don’t choose mommy can choose”. Nine out of ten times she would choose and on the days she didn’t I would.

This worked for everything, you could always find a way to give a choice and allow them some control. Pick two short sleeve shirts and give them a choice, give them a choice on which vegetable they want to eat, give them a choice on how to do their hair, give them a choice on if they want to brush their teeth before or after the story. I learned to be creative in getting the solution that I wanted or thought was best at the moment but still allowing her to make a choice, I just had to think about it. It was such a simple concept but one that made parenting so much easier and dramatically decreased battles in our home, allowed me to be a better mom and let my little girl become independent and feel like her thoughts and ideas were being heard and keep that spirit alive!

Maria Fuller

I’m a former critical care paramedic with a concentration in Emergency and Disaster Management, an injury on the job led me to retire from that and manage the disaster that is my home these days, I’m lucky I had good training!

I believe in Love at first sight- I met my husband on his 18th birthday and the rest is history

I’m passionate about a women’s right to birth without fear or pressure whether that is at home or in a hospital, I’ve done it in both places.

I have two beautiful girls, Alexa and Arya, 5.5 years apart. I believe each of my daughters was sent to me to remind me of a piece of myself I have lost along the way, it has been exciting journey to rekindle those parts of “ME” again.

We live on a little River in Southbury, CT with our Rotti Beagle mix, a Crazy 1 year old German Shephard and a fat cat that won’t leave the basement, he might be to fat to climb the stairs.

I love a good margarita on the rocks with Salt but ONLY if my husband makes it with hand squeezed lemons, limes and homemade simple syrup, any other margarita sucks.

I listen to “pitbull” in the car with my daughters, they have no idea who Raffi is but Alexa knows most of the words to “Calle Ocho”

I’m the girl who will love you fiercely but is not afraid to “tell you like it is”, if I do, it means I actually care about you!

I love my girls but there are many days I don’t like them or want to be around them. Yep, I just said that, its normal for you to feel that too!

I believe that mothers a given a handbook when their baby is born, its called “intuition” and it will never lead her astray.

I am a photographer who helps women “Celebrate the Courageous journey of motherhood”

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