Updated: Aug 16, 2020
Montessori inspired tips and tricks to offer meaningful choices to your baby or toddler.
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Babies and toddlers have the ability to make choices.
Sounds a little crazy, right?
Your non-verbal little squishy human is capable of making decisions and it's our job to respect them.
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"Children are individuals deserving respect from the moment they enter this world." - Maria Montessori
What kinds of decisions can babies and young toddlers make?
Remember, although you should still state the choices verbally, your child will be using their non-verbal communication to answer.
What to wear- "Would you like the pink shirt or the green shirt?"
How to get dressed- "It's time to get dressed now. Would you like to put your pants or your shirt on first?"
Which toys to explore- "Would you like the ball or the rattle?"
Which books to read- "Which book should we read first?"
How to move- "It's time to go now. Do you want to walk or be carried?"
What food to eat- "I see that you're hungry. Would you like cheese or yogurt for snack?"
You can start offering choices from birth! Simply hold up two choices and focus on your baby's non-verbal cues. At first your child might simply look at object they choose. This will eventually progress to them reaching or moving towards their decision.
Some tricks to provide meaningful choices to your child:
Offer 2-3 options at a time. Too many options lead to over stimulation.
Make sure all options are realistic and that you're comfortable with them.
Commit to your child's first decision.
Communicate with your child on their level.
Avoid adding "okay" at the end of a statement and be clear when offering a choice is not an option.
What types of choices do you offer your baby or toddler?
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