Evaluating Options

Allowing our children the room to evaluate options for themselves gives them room to learn about a situation, make educated decisions and figure out how they feel without an overload of information.

A trend that we have noticed at our house is that as Papa is serving up a steaming plate, he will often admonish to the children that the food is hot, and they need to wait to eat it. Quite a bit later, said child is chowing down on applesauce, salad, veggie sides, his or her drink, or whatever else is handy. All the while, his or her main dish has grown ice cold and sits untouched. The Bug is afraid that he will be hurt by a “hot” dish and won’t eat something even after it has cooled. One must always refer to his food as being “warm”. The Bean is afraid that it is still hot until she is told otherwise.

However, when they are left alone with their food and allowed to evaluate for themselves, they are quite capable of taking a very tentative bite, deciding the food is too hot, and testing it periodically to see if it has cooled enough. Of course, we do warn them if it is something that could truly be dangerous, like a very hot cup of soup, but most of the time, they do just fine when they are allowed to evaluate for themselves.

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