Let Your Child Choose

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I took FishChick4 shopping with me the other day. We were just going to go to Trader Joe’s. Until I remembered we needed a new pencil sharpener.

Ours bit the dust, as it does every school year. We use a lot of pencils apparently. And we’d gotten to the point that my son was going to have to do Algebra in crayon, so we needed a replacement.

We were only in Target for a pencil sharpener. But, when I unlatched my girl, I noticed that her “best” black shoes looked like she had driven Fred Flintstones’ car. Oy! I’m still not sure how they got such holes in them!

We took a detour past the shoe section because no way do I have time to go back out at a later date for shoe shopping. My plan was to buy another simple pair of black ballet flats. And I swallowed some guilt as she exclaimed over every sparkly thing imaginable between the front door and the shoe section.

I was not stopping. We have groceries to get!

A better mom would have let her lollygag in the accessories, in the bras (yes, she noticed those), and in the big girl hair bands. But, no, let’s get the shoes and the sharpener and go.

Then we came to the shoe section. In previous seasons, there have been one or two types of ballet flats of which I usually hide the second type and grab the black pair. They’re classic. They go with everything. They’re practical. But, today there were eight different kinds if there were one.

And I let her choose. Well, after I limited her options to four.

I emailed my husband the above photo so her sister could choose, too. Can you guess what the girls chose?

Bright pink and leopard print.

So not what I would have chosen for them. At least not today. But 35 years ago? Yeah, I might have.

Letting your child choose is a great way to stop and smell the roses.

The days are long, but the years are short. I don’t want to miss them! For more short and sweet ideas on how to stop and smell the roses, to enjoy the little things in life, check out my 31 Days to Smell the Roses series.

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  1. Did the same thing with my six year old yesterday! I let her pick out tennis shoes. They weren’t the very pretty gray and pink ones I liked, but rather the black ones with pink and purple all over them! But oh the joy on her face over her new shoes! 🙂

  2. I too always pick the black they are classic and go with everything. However, what will you do when the leopard flats are not appropriate and she needs the black classic in order to be dressed correctly for the event?
    Sometimes we can only afford one pair so it has to be the black.

    1. I think that is a very valid point — if you have specific events to go to. I had to be honest with myself that we almost never do, so the value of letting the girls choose was greater than “what if” we might someday invited to something more formal. In their particular case, they have an auntie who would be more than happy to buy them dresses that match their shoes. LOL

  3. how appropriate this post is for me. Just yesterday I was struggling with the choices my girls were making in the shoe store. And here’s a gentle reminder to just let them be and choose the shoes even if they aren’t quite what i would choose, well, within reason. =) Thanks!

  4. You know, it is such a small thing in the grand scheme of things and makes them so happy to have shoes that they love. I am the queen of neutrals, but my children are definitely not. It surprises me what a big deal shoes are to them — almost bigger than the clothes they wear.

  5. Too funny! I too was in the shoe store today (gotta love Payless) and my five year old tried very hard to convince me she needed the leopard print. Unfortunately we had her three year old brother and two year old sister with us – so we grabbed two year old sister a new pair of black sunday shoes and I promised five year old we’d come back just the two of us. Good thing too – came home to a coupon in the mail for that lovely store! Momma can get some funky shoes too maybe! 🙂

  6. I love this idea! My baby is still only 16 months old and not terribly opinionated, but I try to let him have choices about food and playtime when it’s possible. I love that you let them get the pink and leopard shoes. They will love them!

  7. Awww…I love this. I always want to make the practical choice too, but it is SO fun to let them choose what they like. And in the grand scheme of things they’re going to remember getting to pick out and wear those super fun shoes more than your going to remember the time they didn’t have the “right” shoes to wear to a particular event. 🙂