Do you believe in giving kids choices? Why or why not?

@cripfemme (7715)
United States
August 3, 2008 5:06pm CST
I don't have kids as yet but when I do I have plans on the way they will be raised. I don't want to be too controlling. If the kid wants to do something I don't particularly like but don't particularly hate, for example wearing too short of skirts or dying their hair every color under the sun, I'm probably going to let them. I'm not going to pay for it, they are going to have to save their own allowance for that. I'm not going to forbid it either. I have found that if you give kids too many rules and no freedom to make their own choices without getting into trouble they rebel when they go to college or move out on their own. Partying too much, not studying if they are in school, getting drunk regularly just because freedom is so seductive if you've never had any of it. I think the best way to counteract this behavior is to let kids experiment with things. I don't mean anything crazy like letting them steal or take drugs, I mean small things like wardrobe and not dating someone mom and dad are terribly fond of. Of course if that gets abusive, I'm going to step in. What do you all think?
14 people like this
42 responses
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
3 Aug 08
I do think they should get choices when it is something that is important to them like choosing what to wear...or what they would like to pick for a movie or things of those matters. When it's an important decision when they are young that is what parents are for....when they get older if they have a choice once in a while it will build them up to make good decisions....or gives them the ability to make their own decisions.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
3 Aug 08
Kids should have choices. They should able to decide what to wear, how to cut their hair (out of school of course, don't need them getting expelled LOL) and what activities they want to participate in. I remember going to dance and sporting activities and not want to go, but my Mom always made us go.
2 people like this
• Philippines
4 Aug 08
I think that is the best way to get in touch with their lives specially that now a days theres a lot of influencial things that will lead them to the wrong deeds. I have one child and I let him do what he wants to do. He is almost 2 years old this coming Nov. 1, 2008. At the very young age I let him explore the things that he wants like climbing in the windows, a bed made of bamboo and specially if his not feeling well we let him play always coz he wants to play and I think its their means of coping their illness. We do not give meds. right away and after 1-2 days the fever was gone already. I will just step into if we think he might fall or hurt by doing so. and tell him that always careful.. We will try to make him not dependent with us instead we made him independent. Thats a good plan my friend...we'll just hope that you'll have your baby soon if not later....
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Some things you have to be willing to negotiate on while others you stand firm and let the rules stick. I have a friend who never let her son do anything when he was younger. While my son was jumping from the highest thing he could jump from, she panicked if her son stood on a branch two inches from the ground. This is just one instance. The result is my son and I have a great relationship; my friend's son blames her for how he has turned out in life. She is almost the opposite with the younger child and give her more freedom to be a kid. Kids need rules, but they need ones that make sense and help them grow to be responsible. My son knows he could grow his hair to his behind if he wanted to, but prefers to keep it cut. He does want to dye his hair, but that I've said no to. Only because he doesn't like being the only blond in the family.
1 person likes this
• China
4 Aug 08
Even if I have not any kid yet, but I understood your thinking. I just mean the kids should have the rights for choosing what they want to do, if they don't want to do, they have the right to refuse.Thank you very much for your title, I have learned more from your article?
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Aug 08
I give my 3 year old choices. Usually it makes her choice pretty clear would you rather take a bath or go to bed. most of the time the bed is the other choice when she doesn't want to do something. She will get more to choose from as she gets older but for now we like to keep it simple.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Aug 08
No, there kids not adults they do what we say, were there 18 they can do what the ywant.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
4 Aug 08
So they have no choices at all? How to do you expect them to learn to make responsible choices? Your not around them every moment even now. I'm scared if my kid blindly obeys everything I say and has no separate opinions. I don't want to raise a follower. I want to raise a leader. And you need to start that from an early age.
2 people like this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Raising kids is a process and the goal should be for them to be independent, decent adults. It all starts from babyhood. they need to be allowed to make choices and to live with the consequences. Its a balancing act. Allow them to make mistakes and to learn from them.
@AJ1952Chats (2340)
• Anderson, Indiana
6 Aug 08
I like the saying of "Pick your battles." If my child wanted to wear something silly-looking or even dye his/her hair every color of the rainbow, I'd have him/her spend his/her own allowance to get it done but would probably okay it. If it were something more damaging and/or permanent, however, like body-piercing and tattoos, I'd put my foot down. And I wouldn't have my child wearing something that might put him/her in danger and/or make him/her look indecent. Otherwords, no clothing exposing too much skin or outfits representing gangs, for a couple of examples.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
6 Aug 08
I'd even be okay with piercings (in most places!) or tattoos if they didn't want swear words or to get it done in some unclean shop. I'd ask too see the health department certification, before I'd let them have every work done any place.
@sbeauty (5870)
• United States
4 Aug 08
There are instances when you have to be the bad guy in your child's life. Actually small children want a lot of limits. They don't yet have the skills to make decisions on their own, and they rely on parents and teachers to help them make the right ones. You can still give them small freedoms and should. As they start growing up, they should be allowed to make more and more decisions on their own. By the time they go away to college they should have developed the abilities they need to make all of their own decisions, because they'll have to. The most important thing is for a parent to lead their children in the right direction, not push them there.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Of course there are times when I have to be the bad guy. I mean I'm not going to let my kid steal something or cheat on tests, but for the most part I believe that they should be trained to make decisions. I expect them to take charge of their lives at some point and I figure I might as well start them early.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I do believe it's good to give kids a choice on certain things however not everything because kids need to learn to give and take as they grow up so they'd be able to make it in this world. When they're given a chance to decide on some things in their lives, it helps them to make decisions later on in life. Now if it's a choice in what to have for dinner, sometimes is ok but not all the time because they need to learn to eat fruits and vegtables as well as other items that are good for them.
@moxalot (100)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I agree with giving your kids a choice in some instances, although like you dinner is not always a good idea. Occasionally I'll give my girls a choice, but not that often. I know of someone who gave a choice of dinner ever night for dinner (they were a guest at someones house for a week). What the host made for dinner or pb&j... Can you guess what they chose? Personally I think that's rude... You eat what is for dinner or nothing... Maybe that's harsh, but who wants to make 4 different dinners....
1 person likes this
@sk66rc (4261)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I've always allowed my daughter to make choices as long as it didn't put her in any danger... Few times, I even let do go through with what I thought was a wrong choice or bad choice... I wanted her to experience what it was like to make a wrong choice & wanted her to learn from it... She was playing outside with her friends & she had gotten a cut on her elbow... I wanted her to come in & wash it off, put some anti-bacterial stuff on it & bandage it up... Noting serious... She didn't wanna come in because she didn't want to miss out on anything with her friends... I didn't really think much of it & let her play... Of course, that little cut got infected... Usually I'm the last one to say, "I told you so" but that time, I told my daughter "next time something like this happens, you know what to do..." Now, anytime she falls or hurts herself, in a small or light way, she'd come in & look at me & says, "daddy! can you fix me so I can go play?"... That was so cute...
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
4 Aug 08
That's exactly what I mean. She learned a lesson and it might have hurt a little, but nothing disastrous happened.
@gtdonna (1740)
13 Aug 08
Yes I believe in giving kids choices because they are human like us and they also need to be respected and listen to. I listen to my daughter and if I do not agree with some of the choices she wants to make or has made I let ehr know and also let her know my reasons and listen to her reasons.
• Philippines
11 Aug 08
Its really good way of letting them experience the things they want. This behavior are normal since children and even adolescence are in the stage of being curious and wants to do things on there own. I think we don't need to control the children.. we just have to know what they want and us adults should be the one to guide them of how to reach and understand those "wants"..
@umart13 (841)
• Ireland
10 Aug 08
Hello cripfemme, I am a former swimming teacher and I believe that children will respect you if you respect them. I saw a wonderful idea recently at a friends house and I have been recommending it to other parents I know ever since. My friend who is a single mother has a made a contract with her 7 year old daughter, which is signed by both of them and is hung proudly on the door of the fridge. Not only is the kid given choices, but both parties know exactky where they stand and they are setting milestones for their relationship. ... What do you think of that? Have a good weekend. Umart
@mamakat (321)
• United States
8 Aug 08
Well, here's my wishy washy answer for the day. lol I think kids should be given choices, to a certain extent. I agree with other people who have already said that letting kids choose their clothing is a good thing, as it gives them the chance to express themselves. That said though, (and here's where some of the wish washy comes in!), I still believe moms and dads should have final say on if something a child has chosen is acceptable. Call me old fashioned, but I don't think a seven year old should be wearing thongs, belly shirts, and short shorts. I also think it's okay to have kids make choices about things they do--i.e., what activities or sports they want to do. Overall, it's good to let kids start making some choices for themselves at a relatively young age, as it helps teach them independence and responsibility.
• United States
7 Aug 08
As a parent, I'm a firm believer in that children should have choices in some things. However, you have to guide their choices. My kids are young so they get choices in small "steps". For example, when it comes to what they will wear, they can choose between "a" or "b" and I make sure both options are acceptable ones. Same with lunch - a meal I'm OK with fixing different meals for each kid. But, there are other things that are not optional. Period. Obviously the goal is that by the time they are old enough to be making the major decisions, they will be well-grounded. But...I'm still waiting for the parent's instruction booklet!
4 Aug 08
I think that a persons re will is all they really have no matter how old they are. Take it from me I was that kid that couldn't spend the night over her best friends house I even had to be in the house when the street lights came on how pathetic is that. I was teased a lot because of the things I couldn't do. So I started to do all the things I knew I wasn't suppose to do at a very young age, at the time I thought I was showing my mom a favor cause my dad wasn't there but now I know I wasn't hurting anyone but myself. If your child decides she wants purple hair let her have it and pay for it out of love to show her you will support her no matter how silly her idea's are. Don't look down on what makes your child an individual you might not understand the purple hair at that point in time but when he or she grows to make you proud you will understand that the little things in life impacts the big decisions.
@dowie27 (45)
4 Aug 08
I think they should get choices as they will have to make many choices in there adult life when they grow up. It will prepare them .
• India
4 Aug 08
well according to me kids should be given choices......it makes them independent and capable to take decisions.....but there should be a limit....for instance kids like ice-creams a lot...nd they would want to have it all the time...so parents should keep a check over it!!
• Philippines
4 Aug 08
those choices they choose,, have a lesson to them,,, even though they hurt a little bit,, but from there choice... he/she knew a little bit about of it..