Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Teaching My Children To Make Good Decisions

<p dir=ltr> Most people seem to see parenting as being something like a motorcycle, once you have kids you just slap on a side car and drag them along wherever you want them to go.

I could have done that I suppose, and there were certainly times when the control freak within came out. Where I pushed them to do something because I wanted it for them, but its hard not to. My kids only take it so far before they tell me. "Mom, back off." </p>

I simply expect my children to make better decisions than I did. I tried to see myself more as a set of training wheels for my kids. I'm there to help them when they need me, but they can't rely on me forever.

If I could have wrapped them in bubble wrap, I would have. There is even a tiny part of me that still supports legalization of chastity belts.

But I can't protect them from life.

I want them to experience life, to enjoy it, to revel in it. I want them to have healthy and productive adult lives. To do that they have every right to expect to be treated with respect and dignity.

A chastity belt might make me feel better (having three teenaged daughters does things to your mind I tell ya,) but it would teach them nothing about respecting themselves and their bodies.

Instead of forcing my own ideas on them, I've sat down with them and talked about the options. Openly, honestly, and without judgement. If they have a decision to make, they need all of the facts.

Then I tell them that I trust them to make the right decision. They usually do too.

They've never really been able to get away with anything because they know I tried it all. A lot of my rebellion as a child came from being caged in. From having too many people making decisions for me. I never really learned how to make a proper decision for myself.

<p dir=ltr>My overprotectiveness of my children is legendary in public, but I've still left them free to explore this laboratory called life in private. In fact I've encouraged it.

Raising children who did exactly what other people wanted was the last thing I intended to do.  I wont be there when the biggest decisions will be made. Drugs, sex, breaking the law. I want my children to do the right thing no matter who is looking.

The whole point of my parenting experiment was raising kids who can control themselves.

I have to trust them to be able to do that. </p>


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