I wanted to start of by offering an observation around the lack of choices that I see children having. They seem to be well taken care of and told what and when to do things during the course of their day.
They may choose an outfit, an area to play, a food choice...but for the most part they don't have "choices". Self - regulation is something that doesn't show itself until they are teens.
I started to think about life as an adult and how a lot of things are decided for us and out of our control. Our taxes, price of gas, cost of living, salary and I began to wonder how we survive with things that are out of control. We adapt, to those things, we work two jobs or have a dual income etc., but what do we need most?
I believe that we need to have Support and Empathy! Children and adults are alike in this area. They would choose to be loved, shown compassion, empathy and support if something went sideways like the loss of job, or pet or move. It is how these virtues show up as choices in our lives. Some things go without being said, like your mother and or father loving you, but how does one know that they truly do? Is it by how many hugs or gifts you receive? Is it the book that they share with you and the food they feed you? How do you know that the children in your care know that you are offering support and compassion? How does community offer support ( assistance )? Is it easy to access?
I believe that is crucial for healthy brain development ( thus impacting the body) that love and security play the most important role in a person's life. I believe that in offering Choices to young children prepares them to be resilient and to be problem solvers.
I would like you to think about how you allow children the choice to show that they can decide to be a creative and innovative thinker. How do you show them you trust them to make great choices for themselves in a safe environment?
Social emotional learning encompasses the ability to say to a child " I respect you and acknowledge that you are a competent person who is on a huge learning path" "Let me guide you with things that matter most!"
There are so many ways that this blog could go, but I will leave that thought with you.
Thank you for reading, I look forward to your response. (if you choose to leave one :))