Choose to Let Them Choose
“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.*”
(J. K. Rowling)**
More than anything, our ability to choose is what makes us human. It is also the primary determinant of our success or failure.
Given this reality, I find it so odd that parents would like to take choices out of the hands of their kids. Since kids are so young and inexperienced, we reason, and the possible mistakes they can make so potentially tragic, we would rather just take control of their lives, commanding them what to do, until they can prove capable of making good choices.
This is nonsense. Here are three reasons why:
- The only way our kids get good at making choices is by…you guessed it…making choices.
- The only way they can prove the ability to make good choices is if they’re allowed to practice…making choices.
- If we tell our kids what to do, we’re not removing any choices from them, because…who decides whether or not to obey our commands? They do.
Training our kids to evaluate, make, and learn from choices is the greatest thing we can do for them, if we actually want them to be human.
*This is the opening quote in the book I wrote to my daughter, Choose Your Own Adulthood. It’s a fantastic blueprint for teens and young adults to grow into good decision-makers.
**Of course, I had to conclude this week of quotes from Scottish writers with perhaps the most famous of them all. I love me some Harry Potter, but I find some of Ms. Rowling’s quotes about life to be the most rewarding of all her writings.
Peace begins with pause,