Tips To Help Your Children Make Good Decisions
With all of the talk of family values, parents need to know how to help their children make good decisions. By walking the walk, talking the talk, being honest and monitoring the media that children consume, parents can help teach their children principles that will help them make good decisions.
Parents must walk the walk. Children will follow what their parents do even if the parent says, “do as I say and not as I do.” It is hard for a child to reconcile doing something just because he or she is told to do it, especially when the child sees the parents doing the exact opposite.
Being a good example is the best thing that a parent can do, but it isn’t enough on its own. Parents must be able to talk to their children and explain why the parent made certain decisions. Without open communication and the trust that it builds, it becomes harder for the child to resist peer pressure as they get older. When a child feels like the parent is going to judge him or her, the child will not be forthcoming with information that may be vital to the child’s life and happiness.
Once the child is ready to make a decision, allow him or her to make it and then to suffer the consequences. Unless the consequences can result in death or severe injury, it is important for the child to learn that the choices he or she makes carry consequences, and those consequences, whether naturally occurring or laid out before the action, must be allowed to take place. Often times, parents want to protect their children, but that protection leads to the child not being able to make the right choices as he or she gets older. If a child chooses to go outside without a coat and gets cold, that is a natural consequence that the child should suffer unless it is going to lead to hypothermia or frostbite. Similarly, if a parent tells a child that not returning by 10pm on a weeknight will result in being grounded for the weekend, then the parent needs to ground the child when he or she doesn’t follow the rule – regardless of what the child is going to miss.
Family values should include being honest. This means that the parent should not lie regardless of the situation. There are commonly held myths that do not harm anyone for believing in them like Santa Claus, but when it comes to the important things in life, children need to know that they can rely on their parents for the truth. The media will not help parents in raising thoughtful children that make good decisions, so it is important to turn that TV off and make sure that the children get their entertainment through imagination and good books.