Thursday, March 24, 2011

Making Decisions

Is every almost-three year old so indecisive?  Ingrid is horrible at making a decision.  She finds it too overwhelming to pick something if given a choice. the same time finds it heartbreaking to have decisions made for her.

Every morning we go through the same struggle--what do you want to drink?  Apple juice or milk?  You would think it was Sophie's Choice up in here!  It takes that girl so long to choose!  Apple juice, no milk, no apple juice.  I take out the apple juice, "NO!  I want milk!"  I poor the milk, "NO! I said I wanted apple juice!"

Just now I asked her what she wanted to eat.  "Nothing."  Five seconds later when I'm sitting here at the computer drinking my coffee (which I had no problem choosing, thank you very much) she starts going on and on about how she's "really really hungry" as if we are starving her. 

OH MY GOD, she just tests my patience so much these days!!!

From my nannying days I remember to avoid a struggle you were supposed to offer a choice of two things.  That way they feel like they have a say in what goes on, but aren't overwhelmed by too many options.  But Ingrid takes those two options and goes back and forth and cannot decide.  She ends up freaking out because I end up saying I'm counting to three and then you have to choose or I will.  The scenarios here are:  I choose for her, she freaks out.  I let her choose, she can't make a decision and we end up in front of the refrigerator cooling off the whole kitchen.  I count to three and make her decide and she freaks out.  What gives, it's just juice!!

Any tips?  Anything you find that works?  Do they grow out of this (PLEASE SAY YES.)


MaryAnne said...

Emma is FINALLY getting better about this at age five! When choices are freaking my kids out like this, I just drop the option of making SO MANY choices for a few days, and then try it again and see if they've gotten any better.

Or maybe it would work for her to have a card that said milk on one side and apple juice on the other, and she could put her "order" in a certain spot (but then not change it)?

The Mama Beth said...

Could you just give her both milk and juice? Maybe pour a half-cup of each and just sit it where she can reach it and let her choose that way? We're not quite to this point yet, but I see a lot of similarities between Ingrid and my 2 year old, so I'm sure it is coming.When it does come up (usually with clothes), I try 3 times and if she doesn't pick I set both choices down, announce I'm not playing that game and walk away. She brings me her choice eventually. This age? Is hard. I can't wait for four, when it seems like it starts getting easier.

Mommy, Papa and the 'Nuts said...

I give a little of both too.

Gwynne said...

Age 4 isn't any easier if you ask me... They are more opinionated and can negotiate better. That's just me though, but mine gets harder to deal with the older she gets. Oh and they can reach things like cookies.

I love when they say they are starving so you make food and they eat 3 bites, classic.

Gwynne said...

PS. I meant negotiate as a bad thing.

-How about just one cookie?
Not now, how about after lunch.
-How about just a bite right now.
(starts opening cookie bag)
I said no, not now.
-Why not? How about after I eat breakfast?
No, after lunch.
-I want one now though
(change subject/deal with crying etc)

This happened today... and every day.