How To Raise Strong Kids Who Think For Themselves

Raising kids to think for themselves
Raising kids to think for themselves

Rethinking The Reasons

It’s common to teach children to obey immediately, no questions asked. When mom or dad says to do something, the child is expected to follow through without complaining or delay.

On the surface, unquestioned and immediate obedience is a good thing to teach. An in-depth look into the psychology of WHY a child might not be obeying could tell a different story.

The Importance of Authority

Children need structure and authority. Rules give stability and safety, providing clear expectations. It’s a parent’s job to teach respect, obedience, and emotional control. Those things do not come naturally, and an unpleasant, uncontrollable child grows into a rude, selfish adult. The world does not need more of those. However, blindly following the pack, or a leader, can have devastating consequences.

The Importance of Questioning

Processing information and taking time to make the right decisions is a necessary skill. The earlier they start, the better. There will be times when an authority figure SHOULD be questioned. A child that has never been allowed to speak out (respectfully) or ask why will not feel the confidence to do so when older.

Unreasonable Adults

Parents don’t always make the best decisions. Sometimes a “No” is because it’s the easier answer, not the right one. Exhaustion and distractions can cause irritability and a disconnection, meaning the child is left feeling misunderstood and hurt. A parent will assume bad behavior is willful disobedience when there could be an underlying cause.

Adults do not always handle stressful situations well, especially when tired, yet there is an expectation for children to do so, and with a positive attitude! A parent’s reaction to challenging situations, whether it’s the wrong order served at a restaurant, a slow cashier, or a bad driver on the road, sets an example for the child.

They will learn that everyone has to wait their turn patiently or that it’s time to complain. They will learn to extend grace when someone makes a mistake, or they will learn to forcibly get their way.

Apologies

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s hard, but apologizing is a great lesson for kids. No one is right all the time. It takes humility to admit wrongdoing. There is restoration to the parent/child relationship and a closeness that comes through listening and working together.

Published by

Adrienne Koziol

Married for 23 years, mom to nine kids, and freelance writer. My days are spent being a teacher, chef, maid, chauffeur, nurse, counselor, and blogger. I love to learn and want to pass that on to my kids.

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