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6 powerful benefits of giving your child a choice

3. Cultivate a sense of value

6 powerful benefits of giving your child a choice

As parents with busy schedules, it's easy for us to build a routine, make decisions and then impose those decisions on our little ones. We want the best for our children and, oftentimes, we believe our choices are what's best.

However, making decisions for our kids does not allow them to feel empowered or prepare them for adulthood. The power of a small choice can go a long way.

The choice can be as simple as allowing them to choose an apple or banana in their lunch or picking their clothes for school—because at the end of the day, it's okay if your child wears animal print leggings with a purple striped dress. The key is to provide our children with choices that empower them while minimizing the impact on our routine.

Here are six important benefits to building choices into your little one's daily routine:

1. Avoid tantrums

Tantrums are often caused by a lack of control. It's a natural human desire to want to feel in control. As adults, we often fail to recognize that children also need to feel in control.

Tantrums do not happen for silly reasons like cutting a sandwich in squares rather than triangles, but because of an underlying feeling of a lack of power. It is important to allow your little one to feel in control whenever possible in order to avoid tantrums. I always tell parents the best way to avoid tantrums and be in control of your child is to make the child feel powerful. You have power when your child feels powerful.

2. Build confidence

Decision-making is an important aspect of building confidence. When your little one makes a decision and it goes well, they are going to feel proud and this is going to help build confidence and continue to build positive decision-making skills through adolescence and adulthood.

3. Cultivate a sense of value

In my opinion, one of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects of parenting is making your child feel valued. Children are often more creative and perceptive than adults. A child's choice has as much value as an adult's, and we want to make sure that our children know that we recognize that and acknowledge the value that they add to the family. Recognizing their small choices is an easy way to empower our children and acknowledge their worth.

4. Teach responsibility

Life is defined by the choices we make, and it's important that we equip our children by teaching decision-making skills starting at a young age. By building small choices into the daily routine, you are teaching your child to be an active part of the decision-making process and allowing them to learn to manage both decisions and their outcomes (whether those outcomes are desired or not).

5. Foster creativity

When we make every decision for our children, we don't allow them the opportunity to use their creativity and develop abstract thinking. Let's face it, as adults we are often rigid and not nearly as creative as our kids. We want to foster their creative thinking rather than shutting it down by being authoritative.

6. Develop problem-solving skills

Not all decisions your child makes will have a positive outcome, and when a decision comes with an undesired response, your child will learn to problem solve through the decision and make a better decision next time. If your little one decides to wear their favorite dress shoes to the muddy park and they get ruined, they will remember that the next time and make a different decision.

Remember mamas, as parents, it's our job to develop our little humans into empathetic, strong and responsible adults. The best way to do that is to give them the space they need to be creative, develop confidence and feel in control of their own body from a young age. Small choices can go a long way—so go for it and allow your little one to start choosing!

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These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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