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Friday, February 01, 2008

Mother Rectoress on the need to Limit Choices for Children

I definately feel as parents, we have an obligation to limit choice in a society that says more choice is better. There is comfort in structure and children can certainly do without the pressure of making the right choice. Try it with a toddler, they just can't do it. Nor should they. Just because you can get it (what ever it may be - the latest and greatest) does not necessarily mean you need it and the one you did choose does not have to be the may be just what you did need.

I was chatting with my mum today about diet. When I went to school we had half a sandwich for recess and a full one with the same filling for problem. No lollies, snacks, treats, nothing. To drink, we had water and more water. As adults, both my brother and I love the basics, good vegetables, fruit and meat. Neither of us go for dessert. Teaching our kids to accept limited choices, allows them to practice limits and later live comfortably with them. This does not mean depriving for the sake of a lesson learned. It's simplifying for the happiness of all.

In a similar vein, choice is connected with distraction. Simplify life, cut out the distraction and perhaps you'll reflect and ponder a little more...notice a little more. We are so trained at distraction through radio, tv, shopping, work and activity, we don't allow ourselves ever to get bored, disatisfied, and so don't look for new and creative ways to see and do things.

When I was in America I could not order a salad sandwich without being offerred a choice of breads, butters and dressing. When I asked for just a "normal"/ plain salad sandwich they were befuddled.


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