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Learning From a one Year old

Posted on:July 27, 2021 at 12:13 PM

Having a kid has taught me a lot. I find myself putting myself back in kids shoes where everything is possible but little is known and so everything is to be discovered.

My one year old has just begun to feel all the feelings and he’s extremely adept at expressing those feelings. By this I mean he’ll quickly throw himself on the floor in a fit of sadness and anger. If only we all had such inhibition of expressiveness for primary emotions!

Give Options

One trick I’ve heard of and tried to great success to avoid the fit of emotions is instead of saying “no” to something they want, give more than one viable option. Instead of getting hung up on the thing they wanted, they begin to evaluate which option is better. This gives the illusion of choice and feeling of control, autonomy. This plays on a few different biases: availability heuristic, framing effect/achoring, and mitigates reactance bias. Needless to say, this pattern works wonders on all humans, not just one year olds.