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The Benefits of Giving Toddlers Two Choices and How It Can Give You a Peaceful Day

September 20, 2021 4 min read

The Benefits of Giving Toddlers Two Choices and How It Can Give You a Peaceful Day

The Benefits of Giving Toddlers Two Choices and How It Can Give You a Peaceful Day

One of the most important steps of childhood development is for your kids to be able to make decisions. That is why it is important to give toddlers two choices.

Studies have shown that toddlers become more independent when they are given two options. These options help them learn how to be flexible and better decision makers.

Giving toddlers two choices can help them be more cooperative and it can also create a peaceful day for the entire family.

Take for instance the opportunity for them to choose which clothing style to wear today.

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The Stress of Raising a Toddler and Why Giving Them Two Choices Has Been An Effective Tool to Help Parents

I want to speak about the strain of raising a toddler and how giving them two choices has been an effective tool to help parents.

Giving children two choices is an effective tool for parents because it allows children to make decisions for themselves. 

The brain development of a child is different from that of an adult. Adults are more rational, but kids are more emotional because they are still in the process of figuring out their identities. 

Giving them two options not only gives them the autonomy that they deserve, but also teaches them how to think critically about their decisions.

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What is the Science behind the "Two-Choice Paradigm?"

The two-choice paradigm is a psychological experiment that has been used for decades to study behavior and attention.

In this experiment, participants are given a choice of two or three different statements, and they have to select the statement that is true based on the options given. The more choices people have in the experiment, the more difficult it becomes for them to choose one answer.

A participant might see three statements such as: smart, intelligent and knowledgeable. If they cannot determine which one is true, then they can select "none of these."

People who take part in this experiment experience increasing difficulty when presented with more choices because their brain automatically starts trying to process all of the available information instead of just selecting an answer.\

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How to Give Your Toddler Two Choices

Parents are always looking for new ways to discipline their kids. Using different forms of punishment. But the truth is, parents are not the only ones who can discipline their kids. Children can be given choices too.

If you want to give your toddler two choices, then you need to follow these steps:

- Establish that you are in charge by letting them know that it is your decision and they will do what you tell them to do.

- Tell them about the first choice using plain words - For example, ‘You can have ice cream or a banana’.

- Then ask for their opinion on which one they would like more.

- After they answer, tell them about the second choice and ask which one they would like more now.

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Two-Choice Paradigm Puts Choice in the Hands of Toddlers

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology shows that children as young as 18-months old can tell the difference between two choices, they just need to be given two options.

Researchers found that this age group was able to indicate which object they were looking at. When the objects were moved, this age group would look back and forth between the items to decide which one they wanted.

For example, if the toddler was given an apple and a banana to choose from, they would eventually come back to one of them and then point or reach for it. This means that toddlers are capable of understanding concepts like "more than" or "less than."

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The Potential Risks for Putting Choice in the Hands of Our Children

Parents and educators play a crucial role in the lives of children. If we want to make sure that our kids grow up with the best opportunities and end up with a fulfilling life, we need to invest in their upbringing.

Fears and worries come naturally to parents who are not confident of their child's choices. And this is why at an early age, we want to train our kids in knowing how to decide the best for them.

Take a time to put your kids to test and have them share the reason why they chose this or that. Have them choose whether to help pack away their toys or they will practice writing for example. This way, you get to familiarize yourself on how they think and what their preferences are most likely in given situations. Doing this, you will be able to give the best piece of advice to your kids during a sincere one on one talk and help them realize how they could have a better choice.

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Have you tried giving your kids the chance to choose and make decisions for themselves in simple ways? Let's slowly get away from being too hands-on with our children. As much as we want to give them the best so we choose for them, why not start teaching our kids how to choose the best for themselves?

Let us know your thoughts and share with us your experience in the comments below!

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