We will continue our discussion on parenting. When a child enters this world, they do not have the choice to make their decisions. Their name is chosen by their parents, and the parents decide on their food, clothing, bedtime, wake-up time, playtime, school, and even which friends are suitable for them to hang out with. Parents make numerous decisions on behalf of their children.
As children grow, they may encounter situations where others, such as peers or authority figures, attempt to dictate their choices. Over time, this can diminish their decision-making abilities, leading to indecision, confusion, and uncertainty about the right course of action. This phenomenon is observable in today’s generation, where many young individuals struggle with decision-making.
When someone feels powerless in the face of external influence, often from their parents, it can manifest as resistance to obey or listen. This resistance may result in reactive, arrogant, or rude behaviors, which parents commonly experience as their child transitions into adolescence. This period of growth and change is closely associated with the teenage years.
When adolescence begins around the ages of 13-14, the physical body undergoes significant changes, becoming stronger than before. The young person inhabiting this changing body may start to assert their independence, believing they can say “no,” react, and push back against authority. This marks the onset of this transitional period. Often, it appears as though a well-behaved child has suddenly transformed overnight, leaving everyone wondering what happened. This transformation occurs as the individual gains physical strength and a sense of self, leading to reactions to external pressures.
From the outset, allowing individuals to make decisions for themselves, learn from their mistakes, and take pride in their correct choices is a valuable gift that parents can provide. When I share this perspective with parents, some become more open to cooperation.
To illustrate, consider a common scenario where parents take their child shopping for shoes. They have recently learned about the importance of letting the child decide. They ask the child what color of shoes they want, and the child selects light-colored shoes, such as cream, white, or pink. The mother, in a supportive manner, says, “Go ahead, you can choose.” However, she subtly introduces her own opinion by mentioning that these light-colored shoes may get dirty quickly. She adds, “It’s up to you; you decide.” This introduces an element of doubt into the child’s decision-making process. The child, now torn between their preference for light colors and the practicality of black shoes, may feel a bit confused.
Later, when the child uses the chosen shoes and they inevitably become dirty, the mother might say, “See, I told you the other day, this would happen.” This subtle manipulation can undermine someone’s ability to make decisions and imply that their choices were foolish or uninformed. It is essential to recognize such tactics and encourage independent decision-making without hidden influence.
After grappling with these challenges and undergoing this transformative phase, the individual suddenly transitions into adulthood. At this point, the world expects them to make decisions about every aspect of their life, and they may encounter significant failures. I want to clarify that not everyone fails, but a considerable number of individuals struggle with decisions regarding life partners, career choices, and the right job. This struggle is often rooted in a lack of learned decision-making skills or a deficiency in knowing how to make sound choices.
Parenting plays a significant role in fostering this ability, and as parents, you should aspire to be mentors, guides, coaches, and friends. However, your primary objective should revolve around nurturing a young person who possesses the competence and confidence to make decisions autonomously.
As you explore the challenges and rewards of parenting and empowering your child to make confident decisions, we understand that sometimes, guidance and support are essential. At Soul Body Healing Center, conveniently located in Fremont, we offer counseling services designed to help parents and families navigate the complexities of parenting. Our expert counselor, Dr Alka Chopra Madan can assist you in developing effective strategies for fostering independence and decision-making skills in your child.
Contact us in Fremont today to explore how our counseling services can enhance your parenting experience and empower your child with essential life skills. Together, we can create a brighter future for your family.
YouTube Channel Name: Dr. Alka Chopra Madan
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