Give Them Choices

A Great Idea …

“By permitting your child to exercise some self-direction at home, you’ll help him develop, refine, and practice the skills you want him to be able to draw on when he’s not with his parents.” (Psychologist Laurence Steinberg, in his book The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting p.109)

In Other Words …

Giving children lots of opportunities to make choices can prepare them to be good decision makers. We can let little children decide what kind of sandwich they want for lunch. We can let older children decide which chores they want to be assigned. We can let teens decide where to do their homework.

How This Applies to You …

Find ways to let your child have some control over his or her life in the next week. You can still set limits, but let the child decide within those limits.

To Find Out More …

For an excellent (and free!) program on parenting, see The Parenting Journey at and if your children are younger than six, check out See the World Through My Eyes.

For more in depth reading on parenting, we recommend The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting by Laurence Steinberg or Soft-spoken Parenting by H. Wallace Goddard.

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