How do I know my children will make the right choice and responsible decision?
I have been asked this question so many times and the simple answer is that you won’t unless you have the confidence and trust in your child that he or she will make the right choice or responsible decision.
What you can do?
You can raise your children in such a way as to instill in them the skills which you believe will hopefully equip them to make the right decisions and wise choices. Unless you are right there with them every time they have decisions to make, you will never know. Which poses the next question: do you really want to be beside them for their every waking minute in order to make sure they (actually you) make that decision because if you are with them making every decision for them they will never learn how to do it for themselves.
In a nutshell, all parents want their children to make the right choice especially in their absence.
- We all want our children to feel CONNECTED and have a deep sense of belonging, where all is well with them so that they feel safe
- We also want them to feel that they are CAPABLE and have trust and faith in themselves. If we wind up doing everything for them, making every decision for them and micro-managing them, we rob them of the capacity to learn to feel capable and have trust and faith in themselves. How can they learn to have trust and faith in themselves if we do everything for them?
- We want them to feel that their voice COUNTS and that they have the confidence and courage to be able to speak up for what they believe is right, especially under peer pressure
- And last but not least, mentioned previously, we want them to have the COURAGE to be able to handle whatever comes their way. How do they develop courage? They get it from being encouraged and this encouragement comes from us, their parents. Encouragement after all means “to put courage in” and it has to be put in from somewhere or they will not develop enough of it
Our parenting style, their basic temperament, the respect we have and show our children, the encouragement we give our children, their experience and much more, all shapes them into being who they are. When they have had to face the consequences of their actions, when they fail and then work out for themselves how to get it right next time, when they have learned to tolerate frustration, delay gratification, live within limits and boundaries, they will develop resilience. If we continue to rescue our children and do everything for them and be an over-efficient PA to them, how can we expect them to do things with confidence and make the right decision or wise choice? When they are toddlers, this doesn’t “seem” like such a big deal, the end result of something might be a tantrum, a push here or a shove there, a toy being taken from a friend, but it is. As they get older, the stakes get higher and they have to have been given an opportunity to develop and acquire these skills during the different ages and stages in their lives in order for them to be able to cope with the higher staked situations.
- How will you know that your child has prepared well enough for an important exam?
- How will you know that your child will go where he or she says they are going?
- How will you know that your child won’t get behind the wheel under the influence?
- How will you know that your child won’t take alcohol or drugs at a party?
The bottom line is this: you will trust your child to make the right decision or wise choice when you have the confidence in your child to be able to make that right decision or wise choice. Children have to be given the opportunity to learn and acquire these skills and as parents, the most crippling thing we can do for our children is to rob them of this opportunity. As the stakes get higher, the thought of them making monumental mistakes that may considerably negatively impact their future is a terrifying prospect for parents.
Raising your child well will hopefully foster in them some of the essential life skills to allow them to continue their journey into adulthood as well connected, grounded, sensible, safe, responsible, sociable and respectful individuals.
Are you stuck with your parenting and feel like you need a boost? Please don’t hesitate to contact me or send me an email, I’d be happy to help.