In any given day, a parent can make a variety of decisions that affect the family. Everything from deciding what foods are acceptable for breakfast to what kind of entertainment is available after school is predetermined based on previous experience. However, have you considered how much of an impact it could make on your children if they have a say in these decisions? Why is it important to include your children in regards to minor decisions you make?
1. Confidence—By allowing your children to have input in some of the minor decisions, they can begin to feel important and have confidence in their abilities to do so. While some suggestions will undoubtedly be fueled by your child’s age, don’t treat ridiculous suggestions as being “absurd” or any other detrimental adjective. You want to build on your child’s confidence as he or she grows, not hinder them.
2. Importance—Everyone wants to feel like they play an important role in the family. By allowing your children to help decide entertainment or snack types, you give them a place in the family where they realize their voices are heard. From something as simple as deciding which flavor of ice cream to buy, they can feel like they are a part of the family more so than merely being present. From a child’s point of view, they simply want to matter.
3. Personal Delight—As a parent, there are often times when you delight in the activities of your children when they begin discovering certain aspects of life. The look on your child’s face when you tell them they can pick what movie the family will watch that night can be as much for you as it can be for them. One of the most amazing sights in life is the way a child’s eyes can seemingly light up with joy from any given situation. It can make you feel good as a parent to be able to bring that kind of joy to the life of your child.
4. Teaching Responsibility—Not all decisions can be met with a successful experience. Perhaps a child picks a movie that isn’t as good as he or she thought it would be or a dessert was disappointing in taste. This can help you teach your child to learn from previous experiences. He or she needs to learn that not all decisions have a good and positive outcome and we learn from this process to make better decisions next time.
5. Self-Discovery—One of the most important aspects of life is knowing who you are as a person. Knowing your own limitations and advantages can help keep you successful in life. Although the decisions are small for a child, it can help them discover who they are as they find that which they enjoy and what they dislike. Many of us go through life still unable to tell the difference and giving children a chance to learn for themselves could enlighten their future.
You don’t have to run your family like a dictatorship. While you are the parent, and what you say is the law, there is nothing wrong with giving your children the freedom to help decide certain aspects of the family throughout the day. You may find that their ideas are actually better than your own.