Posted by
Oct 302013
Photo credit: Vic via Photo Pin cc
Does having a lot of choice give one freedom or confusion?

Does having a wealth of choices make you feel in control or out of control?

I’ve been looking into phones and phone plans. The options, small, large, or confusing, make me wonder about reactions to choices.

I remember a parenting class I took many years ago. It proposed giving your child choices instead of continually setting boundaries and giving orders. Age-appropriate choices within the confines of what she would be allowed to do. For example, at bedtime you might ask if she wanted to wear her green pyjamas or her pink pyjamas instead of simply telling her it was time for bed. The goal was giving your child a feeling of control over her life while developing her decision-making abilities.

Like most parenting advice I’ve heard or read, there was a certain amount of wisdom in it and it worked sometimes. Also, like most parenting advice I’ve heard or read, it did not take into account the unexpected reactions of your child, those reactions that cause parents both delight and frustration. Sometimes your child will insist on an option you haven’t presented, with a persistence so strong you can only hope that trait will help her persevere in her adult life.

As we start planning for our “snowbird” winter in Arizona, I’ve begun investigating cell phone plan options. The home we’ve rented this winter does not have a land line. It will take some time to investigate the myriad of pay-as-you-go and contractless phone plans available in Arizona. Phone plan options in Manitoba are more limited. While I may complain about not finding a plan that exactly suits my needs, it does make the choice easier.

It’s also time for a new cell phone. I want an unlocked phone. That way I can change providers/SIM cards and use the same phone in Canada in the summer and Arizona in the winter. My choice for purchasing new, unlocked phones in Manitoba is limited. However, when I look at purchasing an unlocked phone in Arizona, the choices become overwhelming.

Cell phones and phone plans are minor choices in the overall scheme of life choices. There are times in our adult lives when the choices seem like no choice at all. There are times when they become so many they overwhelm us. And at times, when the consequences seem so great, the weight of making a right decision stymies us. When it is really important, we should spend the time to get all the facts. And then, ultimately, make the decision that feels right. It may not always turn out as expected. Sometimes it is better than we could have dreamed of. Sometimes, things turn out less well. Usually we learn something by that, and can make new, other choices.

As for my upcoming decision about a phone, I’m thankful my husband is doing most of the research.


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