If you know me, you know that I love to give kids choices. I am the kind of parent/teacher who will ask the kids if they’d prefer a green smoothie over chocolate milk.
‘Duh! Of course, children will choose chocolate milk! ‘
Okay… hear me out. I offer choices for a purpose. I like to give my kids/students choices so that I can provoke critical thinking and practice making good choices.
Generally speaking, I like to compare choices to think deeply about what we are dealing with.
Our conversation might go something like this:
“Chocolate milk is DELICIOUS … but
a) It increases cavities – ouch!
b) It affects your sleep – hello tired you
c) It is unhealthy because it has so too much ‘bad’ sugar
Whereas a green smoothie
a) strengthens your teeth against cavities – wow
b) helps your brain and body grow – neat!
c) It is healthy because it has a ‘good’ kind of sugar from fruits and veggies
I’d be lying if I told you that a child’s first choice will be a green smoothie. I am not here to portray a false sense of parenting, but I want to share that children need to practice how to make good choices. And we can’t make good choices if we cannot think critically beyond the surface.
Truthfully as parents and educators, we cannot foster such skills if we keep our eye on the end result (the final answer). Going back to the above scenario, I really wouldn’t mind what choice they made as long as they thought through their choices critically.