At Lighthouse, we believe that giving our children choice, and learning to make the right choice is a wonderful way of preparing them for the future.
As we all know part of growing up is being self-disciplined, understanding and taking responsibility for making life’s choices. Helping our little people learn the difficult skill of making positive, appropriate choices is a job well done for us.
A child who is skilled at consciously making choices will understand their own needs, and gain a sense of control over their own life. Even at an early age offering choices (no matter how small) will have a positive effect on behaviour and the child’s well being.
Children learn how to make big choices by watching important adults in their life make their own choice and by gaining experience through making little choices about day to day things.
At Lighthouse we offer choice in a variety of way for example, food choices. Our menus are healthy, fresh and nutritional and allow our children to choose what they would like to eat. Our health menu discourages bad eating habits by only having good healthy options to choose from. Such as our breakfast menu. There is always cereal and milk, but there’s also a carb, such as toast,muffins or pancakes. Fresh fruit and yoghurt are readily available. With fruit juice, milk and water to drink. Although a small choice, we respect that choice. We have parameters as adult and challenge/offer with an “either/or” if they are young, or several options if they are older. These decision help children learn about themselves and build a better understanding about controlling their behaviour and making the right decision
At Lighthouse when a child is making choices about their behavior, teachers may point out the choice and,or the consequences of it. “Jonah, I notice you have taken your shoes off to climb the climbing frame. Is this a good choice or a bad choice? What might happen to you?”
Older children can use choices to learn how to prioritize. To plan and implement their day. Once the choice has been made, we trust in their judgement, we don’t continue to offer choices. Even if we may think it’s the wrong choice.
Which brings us to the question, What if they don’t like their choice? It can be hard to watch. Nobody enjoys watching a child be disappointed or have a negative response to the choices they have made, But that’s what making a choice entails little people learning to live with the decision or choices that they have made. We would love to “rescue” our children all the time from their decisions that they have made, but if we did, we would not have taught them anything. We would sympathise and question, and handle with care and maybe ask “what would you choose next time? ”