Teach Them To Choose

It makes sense that you and mom would make most of the decisions for your kids. You guys know more. Your kids basically know nothing. About life. About what the weather is going to be tomorrow. How the world works. You, on the other hand, have been 7 as well as 17-years-old before. 

Not only does that give you a lot more experience, but it’s also pretty obvious that most decisions don’t matter. You’ve got places to go and more important things to worry about, so you pick their clothes out to be done with it—to move things along. 

The problem with this is that you’re depriving your kids of a very important skill: The ability to make decisions. Is it any wonder that so many teenagers are utterly overwhelmed when it comes to choosing where to go to college? Or what to major in? For most of them, it’s the first real decision they’ve made in their lives.

That’s why, as a Dad, you have to actively work to not choose everything for them. Ask them whether they want to go to the park or play catch in the yard. Ask them what movie they want to see. What should we cook for dinner? Do you want to take a shower tonight or a bath? Would you rather go out for the baseball or the basketball team? If you don’t like mowing the lawn, what’s another chore you’d like to do to contribute around the house? Shorts or pants today? Go pick out something to wear. 

Teach them how to choose. Empower them. Make sure they know how to decide, and to be OK with it, even if they decide wrong. It doesn’t matter that you know more. Let them learn. Life is decisions. Prepare them for it.

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