My daughter's afterschool asked whether we'd like our 7 year old daughter to stay or move on to the next classroom.
My husband said, staying because that classroom has more fun crafts that my daughter enjoys. I leaned towards moving her up next year as it's the only year she'll overlap with her brother in afterschool, plus I think it's good to challenge her a bit to deal with older kids.
My son said, "Yeah join me, there are some nice friends A, B, and C who will take care of you." He named three girls he's good friends with in his afterschool class.
"I thought A and B are moving up to middle school?" "O right. There's still C, and she's nice."
My daughter said, "I think my teacher would like me to stay. I said daddy we already filled out form saying we're staying."
I said, "No, we still have a choice. And it's not about what the teacher wants, or mommy or daddy, it's your choice."
"I don't know. I don't really care."
I realized we might be putting too much pressure on my daughter. She's only 7, is it too much to ask for kid's choice at 7? She's already trying to please her teacher and probably mom, too. :)
The next morning, I tried again but hopefully more gently. To my son, "Can you tell your sister about your afterschool classroom, what do you like about it?"
"Sports, and nice friends, and we get to do fun projects like Asian Heritage Month Celebration," for which apparently my son was the co-founder, and proudly so.
I then asked, "How would you help your sister?"
"Help her and stand up for her."
"I don't want you to stand up for me... Wahhhh!" My daughter started crying. Maybe it's the idea that there will be bigger kids her brother will need to step in to help, or maybe it's the implication that she's somehow lacking in standing up for self? Or maybe it was just all too stressful. My husband rushed over to hold her.
"Can we just say, whichever one has more space?" she offered once she calmed down.
"What about her friends?" My husband asks. "O yeah, you don't want to be in one class if all your good friends are in another."
That's something my daughter has clarity on: yes, she wants to be with her friends if possible.
"Okay, we'll say you're flexible, and if possible be with your good friends." Phew for the whole family. ;-)
New Poll: To what extent do you let kids choose on decisions impacting them, most of the time?
Let me know your thoughts in comments too. :)