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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bad Choices and Cheap Lessons

Hubby went to pick Buddy up from school mid-day to take him to a doctor's appointment. On their way out of the classroom, Mr. Black looked Hubby in the eye and said "Buddy needs to wear a warmer jacket."

That night before, Hubby and I had a conversation about Buddy's jacket. The weather had turned cold and he was still wearing his fall coat. It was also not "winter" weather yet and he wasn't at any risk of developing hypothermia. We decided to let Buddy choose what jacket he wanted to wear and as long as he had something on when he walked out the door that was good enough for us.

When Buddy first came home he was not able to make even the simplest decision. He had never been presented with choices before and was used to following instructions blindly. From what to eat, to what to wear, to what to play with, he would ponder for minutes before finally asking either Hubby or I to choose for him.

We worked with him on picking from a very limited number of choices. Did he want to play with his cars or his Lego? Would he rather wear his blue jeans or his black jeans? Did he want Greek salad or Cesar salad? Slowly, with time and practice, Buddy has gotten pretty comfortable choosing and expressing his choices.

We have moved on to allowing Buddy to see his choices through, even if we know they aren't the best ones. As long as he isn't putting himself or someone else in danger, we let him have an active role in how he lives his life. I don't care for some of the lunches he packs, but as long as he follows the basic framework we have established he is free to take what he likes. I'm not crazy about the way he folds (or doesn't fold) his clothes, but it doesn't hurt me or him if he is a rumpled mess most days.
Proof that I will force Buddy to bundle up

And if he chooses to wear a letterman-style jacket in 50o F weather he is not going to experience any significant consequences. Besides being cold, which will teach him the importance of dressing for the weather.

This morning, it was 9F. There is now an inch of snow on the ground. I asked Buddy if he wanted to wear his snow-pants to school or put his slush-pants in his backpack, just in case. Both were met with a big, confident "No."

I let him make that choice for himself. Because it doesn't hurt him or anyone else if he gets a little chilly at recess. 

I wonder what Mr. Black with think... 

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