I don’t know about you, but I feel that companies start all the Christmas marketing earlier and earlier each year. I was at St Lukes last weekend and they had carol singers! I have no doubt that the TV advertising during the peak times in the afternoon when children are watching is all about the latest ‘must have’ toys.
I am a little out of the toy market these days but I was in Farmers buying a gift for a very young family member. There was so much to choose from, it really was an Aladdin’s cave full of colour and so many choices!
I stood there in a quandary thinking oh my goodness, what shall I choose? How will I know if it is a good choice? When confronted with colour and packaging and marketing blurb, how could I work out the best choice?
This is a metaphor for real life. We are confronted with many choices, pretty much every single moment of every day. Shall I have a bagel or a roll for lunch? Shall I wear the blue dress or the red dress? These are banal, every day choices which we really don’t think too hard about, but what happens when we have to make a choice that will impact significantly on our lives?
What sorts of skill do we need to learn, in order to be as prepared as we possibly can be when it comes to making those big choices? All of us approach making these choices differently. There are the ‘think with the heart’ people, the ‘think with the head’ people, the ‘list’ people, the ‘pros and cons’ people, the ‘ask my friends and family’ people, the ‘let me sit on it’ people, the ‘knee jerk’ people, the ‘go with your gut instinct’ people.
So how do your children make a choice? One of my daughters had very strong clothing preferences from 18 months of age! I could not get her to wear what I wanted her to wear and we had some right battles until a wise person said to me to choose two outfits that I was happy for her to wear and present them to her and ask her which one she is going to choose. It was the end of the clothing battles. For her, yes, it was about the clothes (she never chose a dress), but it was more important, even at that young age, that she was given a choice.
We can give our children choices all the time but alongside that, we could model skills that help us with our choices. Get them to write a list of pros and cons or tell them they have some time to think about what choice they will make first. If they make a choice quickly, ask them what made them choose that particular thing – get them to justify their choice. Perhaps prompt them to look at it from a different angle – what would happen if you chose the other thing – which is helping them look at both sides. Ask them what might be a consequence of the choice they are about to make. Helping children by giving them a framework for making choices will, hopefully set them up for adulthood where they need to make some pretty big life decisions.
Sadly for me though, despite giving my daughter all the clothing choices in the world as a child and helping her with a framework for decision making, she still doesn’t choose dresses!
You might be interested in this Hubspot post, The Psychology of Choice. How to Make Easier Decisions.
The Psychology of Choice
Thank you to all parents who came along to the triadic conferences yesterday and to those of you coming tonight. The children have taken this very seriously and I know they have felt very empowered sharing their learning with their parents. Hopefully, many of you will have seen your child in a new light. The triadics are starting points for discussions parents and children can have at home about learning. The structure may help you overcome the old ‘what did you do at school today?’ ‘Nothing’ conversations!
New Parent Morning Tea
A huge thank you to all of you who provided baking for this morning. Huge thanks too, to all the parents who came along and helped. I know our new parents really enjoy the opportunity to talk to ‘old hands’ in the school during a lovely welcoming morning tea.
Christmas School Picnic Thursday 13 December 5.00 – 7.00pm
Come along with your picnic tea and some refreshments and join us for a lovely end of year event. It is the silly season, so this will be a chance to relax and unwind as your children have great fun playing with their friends. Put it in your diary!
Leavers Assembly Friday 7 December 1.30 – 3.00pm
Please note the earlier start time.
Reminder – Curriculum Levels
This year, the achievement expectations on your child’s report are against the levels in the New Zealand Curriculum. The chart below shows how the curriculum levels align with year levels: