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Children Making Choices

  • Date Submitted: 09/01/2012 02:08 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.1 
  • Words: 505
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I disagree with the parenting philosophy of shielding children from the bad things in the world.   Now I know that may immediately trigger some outrage and shrieks but read on before you have a coronary.   We decided that our purpose as parents is to prepare our children for the world they will face on their own.   Not that we intend to ever stop covering their backs and being there when needed. But if we shield our children from everything especially by always making the decisions about what they see, hear, do, and read then we also fail to offer them the opportunities to make good choices, to develop sound judgement and equally important we deprive them from the opportunities of making the types of poor choices that develop these skills without ruinously changing their lives forever.

I believe that we must allow our children to make poor choices sometimes even when we know that the consequences will be uncomfortable for them.   Example: A child is invited to a lock-in and asks permission to attend. You know that each time she attends a lock in that she does not sleep, reports that she did not have a good time, and is horribly grumpy until she gets the sleep she needs.   She has even humorously said don’t let me go to these things.   Yet, she is asking.   You think you have two choices. One is to simply say no and she will get the sleep but will just as likely complain that you never let her do anything and sulk.   The other choice is to once again allow her to go and suffer the snarly, grumpy, sleepy bear cub that returns.

I propose a third option.   Remind her that she voiced regret and dissatisfaction each time that she has attended these events.   Remind her that she never gets enough sleep and how she feels when she lacks sufficient sleep.   Then, tell her that you trust her to make good decisions and that she can decide whether to go to the lock-in.   Be sure to tell her what will be expected of her on the day after the lock-in so that she knows whether she will...

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