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Some of the threads got my thinking. I hear some people who say they let their children choose their own path and they want them to make their own life choices on various aspects, from clothing to bedtime to belief systems. Does anyone really think that a child can truly make their own decisions -- not basing their decisions on what the parent believes? I just don't see how this is possible. Please feel free to correct my thinking on this.
 

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In a word - yes. And no. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
OK I guess that doesn't explain much. I suppose that if a child is going to choose all her own clothes, but that child is a preschooler, the choices are going to be limited to what the parent buys and what the parent makes available depending on the season. My dd never chooses to wear a snowsuit in the summer because I pack away all non-seasonal clothing, you know?<br><br>
Same with food - if dd came up to me and said she wanted a quiche right now, she could have it since it's in the house. If she asked for some grilled antelope, she could not have that.<br><br>
So I believe in letting her make choices about what to eat, what to wear, what to do, as long as those choices are actually available. When she gets older and is in control of more things, there will be more choices. And sometimes the choices she makes are not the ones I would make. Recently she's decided that her name is actually "Sarah" and will not respond to her real name...so I call her Sarah. Not the choice I made, but the choice she has made.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Getting a well-thought out response in my head and Greaseball already said it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Add to that- I think generally we give children too little credit. When should someone eat? When they're hungry. Can't children tell when they're hungry? When should we sleep? When we're tired. Can't children tell when they're tired?<br><br>
more thoughts but squirmy nursling on my lap (and pinching my neck!)<br><br>
-Angela
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Does anyone really think that a child can truly make their own decisions -- not basing their decisions on what the parent believes?</td>
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Sure. I think that if a child is growing up feeling that their opinion counts, and that their ideas will be respected--if their parents value the child's ability to make decisions, then the child will have the confidence and freedom to do so.<br><br>
OTOH, if the child is growing up with their ideas being discounted, or being goaded into doing things the parent's way, or being made to feel inadequate, then they might base their decisions on what the parent believes, or what they feel will please their parents. I think acceptance of a child's ability is necessary for that ability to grow. I agree with Angela--I think we give kids too little credit.
 

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I grew up in a house where mom and dad disagreed on everything LOL, so it didn't take long for me to figure out that there were a plethora of options avaliable other than just *dad's way* or *mom's way*. Even if you and dh "present a united front" on everything (which isn't possible really), eventually your kids will find out that there are ppl out there that do things differently. If you actively try to shelter/isolate your children from knowing about "other ways of being", they may resent you for it as they get older. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"><br><br>
People often get confused and think that unschooling means you just let your kids run ragged. Giving kids autonomy is way different from just letting them do whatever--a good unschooling parent is involved, supportive, helpful, giving guidance and input and opinions... It "sounds easy" to some ppl but unschooling goes hand-in-hand w/a very active parenting style. It's not an all an "easy way out" as some folks like to imagine.<br><br>
At any rate, you're asking whether a kid is capable of making his own decisions? Obviously! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> What you're really asking is whether a kids is capable of making GOOD decisions for himself, I'm guessing?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Well, hate to break it to you, but sooner or later (and it's not always that magical age of 18) your kids ARE GOING to be making their own life choices, and they'll either want your input and advice...or not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> Food for thought <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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I feel my dd is capable of making independant choices on her own at an appropriate level for her age. She has a limited amount of things she makes decisions about but that continually grows as she matures and understands more.<br>
I think there are many things that dd must decide for herself in life. We can be neutral and provide information and leave the choices up to her.<br><br><br>
In respect to my dd's body a lot of choices are hers outright.<br>
For example, getting her ears peirced... if she says she wants it done I'll discuss it with her to make sure she understands what it is in a neutral manner and leave the decision up to her.<br><br>
In terms of religion I really feel that is an individual path. My religious beliefs differ from dh's. We don't push our beliefs on each other or dd. If dd has questions I will certainly help her to figure out her own beliefs but I would not tell her my beliefs were the only or best path for her.
 

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yes! The children who are unable to make important decisions are those children who have not been allowed to make even the little decisions for themselves, and who don't trust their inner guide, instincts, whatever you want to call it. Children are people, too. Bear with me, I really mean it. And they deserve the same respect you would give to your coworker or your boss or the old lady that lives next door. I believe in offering my children direction and guidance when they ask for it or when something might harm them, but it's their lives, not mine, to live. I get so sad when I see how most people underestimate children's ability to think for themselves, underestimate their intelligence, or just don't give them enough credit.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Krystal323</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, hate to break it to you, but sooner or later (and it's not always that magical age of 18) your kids ARE GOING to be making their own life choices, and they'll either want your input and advice...or not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> Food for thought <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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ITA.<br><br>
Not only that, but if they grew up with all the decisions being made for them (even with bestest intentions) by parents, teachers, coaches, etc., - they have not learned one of the most important lessons in this life - how to make their OWN decisions.<br><br>
Hence, much greater chance of making WRONG decision later on in life.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>stafl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">yes! The children who are unable to make important decisions are those children who have not been allowed to make even the little decisions for themselves, and who don't trust their inner guide, instincts, whatever you want to call it. Children are people, too. Bear with me, I really mean it. And they deserve the same respect you would give to your coworker or your boss or the old lady that lives next door. I believe in offering my children direction and guidance when they ask for it or when something might harm them, but it's their lives, not mine, to live. I get so sad when I see how most people underestimate children's ability to think for themselves, underestimate their intelligence, or just don't give them enough credit.</div>
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