Learning Parenting: Part 2: How Much Choice?

   i am surely the world's greatest believer in choices.
  I still try to not think of
the craft class in which the only reason given to use white yarn to lace the orange plastic canvas was, "You'll need  the blue yarn later."

It's Color - Let Me Choose Please

 " But i'll still have the WHITE yarn then."
       "But you'll need the white now."
  Turns out, IMHO, the blue with orange would've looked better, and maybe white would've been just fine with the blue project later.  No - definitely better to not think about that.  Even now i'm redesigning the entire projects, as well as trying to not resent the lack of choices.
  Dark blue yarn, not light.  Orange yarn with blue canvas, not white.
  See?  Too complicated.
  Did i mention the class was about making KIDS' crafts?

Boom & Max

Choices!  RahRah! But not every time. . . .

  i've come to believe the teacher's attitude would've probably been the right one, for the age kid we were planning to teach the project to.
  Younger minds, simpler minds, can't handle choices.  Even people who like choices, the choice can be too much if a lot is going on.
  Little kids need to know someone is in charge.  If i give away every choice, i've abdicated my authority.
         Some ways others have said it:

Taking, Giving, & Releasing Autonomy

  Lately i've been watching old episodes of Daktari on DVD.  It's fascinating to see the parent/kid thing play out with Dr. Tracy and Paula. That had simply zoomed over me before.
  In the double episode Ring of Fire, Paula has it clearly in mind that she's an adult.  She flirts with Jack; she accepts responsibility for the project.
  But her father hasn't made up his mind.  He knows she is capable of leading the project in normal circumstances, but when things take a nasty turn, he simply orders her home with  "Because I said so."
  We have that sort of disconnect as parents.  His daughter is a capable team member.  She can be boss of the employee for the afternoon, but when real danger threatens, she doesn't get an explanation.
  Like it would scare her helpless rather than empower her to do right.
  Maybe that's the criterion for "because I said so":  Is the unexplained choice best for inspiring right action?  Or does my child need to know what's going on?  Will the song & dance explanation lead to more pointless questions, or genuine understanding?
  Hard to figure that one out. . . .

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