Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Link Highlight 2.9.13 – Why children should be given few (if any) choices

Now, certainly this article (and title!) applies to younger children, but it was the most clicked link from Monday’s post.  So, it will serve as a highlight that will make you think.

Why this author gives his children fewer (or no) choices.

PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE.  It’ll take 2-3 minutes.  Then, here are a few of my own thoughts:

1. I agree in concept.  

Parenting is certainly not an exact science.  But, in concept, I agree with giving children fewer choices.  It’s not a bad thing to tell a child how it’s going to be, rather than giving choice after choice after choice.  I’ve been in many situations (out about in public, etc.) where I’ve seen children literally overwhelmed trying to make too many decisions.  Their minds aren’t designed to make the decisions.  They need the structure we can provide.

2. Tell, don’t ask.

Something practical I’d share is to ask yourself this: As parents (of younger children), do we ask more than we tell?  According to the beginning of this article, are we (unknowingly) making our children wise in their own eyes by giving them choice after choice after choice?

I think the bottom line is that our children should be comfortable within the structure we give.  How are simple yes and no answers received? With constant resistance? Is “we’re leaving in 10 minutes” met with the same attitude as “do you want to leave in 10 minutes”? Hmmmm….

3. This really challenged me.

I’m sure I’ve had many experiences where I’ve wanted to give my children a choice.  I would have a really long blog post if I named them all.  It’s natural for us to want our children to be happier. But the Scripture here points to the fact that parents can provide structure which helps a child understand God’s structure (the family) as they grow.  And, when children grow up in the structure they can be led to God’s structure as well.

4. This isn’t meant to last.

No parent wants to be laying out clothes for their 17 year old son or daughter.  That’s not what this article is implying.  However, the idea is that as more choices are necessary the older children get (or they simply age to a place where they need to make more decisions), they will make better ones because of the wisdom their parents provided.

Thoughts anyone? Have a great weekend everyone!

Comments

  1. Definitely a topic I’ve thought about. I think that as we become parents we will have a balanced approach to choices. We won’t be asking “what do you want for dinner?”, but will probably ask questions like “what one toy do you want to take on the car ride?”. I will want my children to grow up learning how to make wise decisions, and I agree that this is not accomplished by letting them decide everything (or even most things).

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