As human beings, we’re all programmed to do certain things automatically. We don’t need to think about breathing or swallowing, but when it comes to other behaviors, we learn them. Such is the case for becoming independent and learning to make sound decisions on your own.
With our kids, it’s up to us to help them learn how to master these skills because like it or not, none of us will live forever. Teaching our children well will help them as they make their way into adulthood. Not only will the rest of the world appreciate the thoughtful people you’ve raised but your children will also feel more confident as adults and trust their own capabilities. Here’s how you can help your children find their own independence and execute good decisions.
Lead by example
Our children strive to be like what they see, and they see us. So you may notice they imitate you a lot. And while some of that will be amusing at times, in other situations, it’s important to show your thinking ability and how you arrive at a decision. Talk out the process in your head aloud so your child can see the way you tackle a decision with confidence.
Allow your child to make age-appropriate decisions
Work with your child on homework and allow her to talk through her reasoning process to arrive at a decision. Don’t yell, “Wrong!” should they get the incorrect answer. Instead, point them in the right direction so they can arrive at the proper conclusion. Another great way to involve your child in making decisions is when it comes time to plan their birthday party. Have them sit down and think about everything from who to invite to the location of the party.
Let them experience a bad decision
Of course, this shouldn’t be something earth-shattering, but your child needs to know that sometimes we all make bad decisions and we’ve got to endure them. For example, when you’re out to eat and your child decides to choose something he’s never had before but once it arrives, he doesn’t like it. This will serve as a reminder to him to think things out before deciding. He’ll learn that he should think about the ingredients in a dish he wants to order first before being impulsive.
More decision-making practice leads to better decisions
This should be rather obvious, but sometimes as parents we want to step in and help. As your child gets bigger though, it’s important not to hover so much and be involved in every decision they make. They’re going to make some bad decisions in their lives, but the better decision-making skills we impart in our children, they less bad decisions there will be.
Raising kids that can think independently isn’t always easy for us, but it’s important to help them master this skill. If you truly want your children to excel in life, then you need to help them hone their skills on how to handle life when it gets difficult. By helping them to learn how to make good decisions independently, you will make them stronger for those moments in life that bring us to our knees.