At YEAS Yoga, we recognize the benefits of giving children choices – especially children whose choices have otherwise been taken away. When a child has special needs, many of their day-to-day decisions are made by someone else – so giving children seemingly small choices can have a huge impact.
Choice Boards come in our YEAS Yoga Toolkit (for sale here). The choice board is a laminated board with velcro, that becomes a schedule ready to attach a child’s activity choices. By providing a visual schedule, you can limit your child’s anxiety by giving an expectation of what is to come. A child who is reluctant to participate is likely to be more motivated when given a choice of some preferred activities in which to engage after an activity that is non-preferred or difficult.
When you give someone a choice, you are showing respect. You are giving someone a voice, and validating who they are by listening. Always follow through with the choices made by the child, as this builds trust between the two of you. If you are concerned that their choices may be too off-topic, only provide choices that fit your agenda. Even if it feels inconvenient to allow a child to choose something by themselves, remember that you are taking a moment to put someone else’s desire above your own. That is a major life skill!
Be kind, let others choose sometimes.