Make that decision for me Mum….
Children, like adults struggle with the process of making a decision. A decision can be conclusive and lock you in to a direction or process with inevitable consequences, it can determine your point of view or have bearing on others. To make a good decision we must be well informed and have a strong and confident direction so that the decision we make can be sustained and supported.
“A child needs the fundamental experience that others (involved in their upbringing) decide for them and that they are completely relieved of the necessity of making decisions. It is simply from the experience that others make the right decisions that the child gains a sense of security in life, in other words, trust.”
Resilience by Christof Wiechert
We live in a world where adults constantly abnegate their responsibility by giving the decision making process over to their children, placing their child in a predicament and burdensome position, leaving them feeling angry, insecure or anxious. I often hear parents boasting at how their children have decided on major questions concerning their lives, yet not recognising the stress and anxiety that their child displays through their behaviour.
It is an interesting balance between giving children choices to develop their independence or increasing their insecurities. I ask, “Does a sense of independence strengthen through making decisions, or does it simply lead to confusion and dismay?”
Perhaps when children feel obliged to make decisions all the time, the sense that they are being supported and held safely, diminishes.
We think that letting them make their own decisions develops their sense of independence however in most cases the opposite is true.
Children are developing important human qualities such as wisdom and experience which are important in making good decisions. Helping them through sharing wisdom and experience is a healthy way to develop their sense of ownership and inclusion. Just leaving it up to them can lead to a poor result.
As adults, we need to make good decisions for our children in the knowledge that it is helping them understand their boundaries and feel safe and supported in their environment.
Norman Sievers – Principal