Red Jacket or Blue Jacket?
Jenifer Monroe has to get four kids ready for school every day. As you might expect, she's put some thought into this:
7) Stick to the either/or rule: "Red jacket or blue today?" "Pigtails or ponytails?" rather than, "Which jacket do you want?" or "How should we do your hair?"
... Before it's time to get the kids up, I get up and get myself 100 percent ready to walk out the door. This is the same principle as when you fly and the attendant stresses the value of placing your own oxygen mask on before assisting others. I almost always get a few things done for work while my house is still quiet, so my cushion is about two hours. ...
A young person's brain will still be developing executive function, the processing skills that allow people to focus and sustain attention as well as manage their emotions, throughout the teen years and perhaps into the early 20s.
Without a well-developed internal 'executive', children lose focus more easily and have a harder time overcoming minor frustrations. For that, for many years, they'll be reliant on (often harried) parents and caregivers to keep them on track.
So, until they get a little older, it's important to give them choices that both let them feel in control while staying on task. That just helps everyone have a better day.