As our children get older they have the ability to do more and more on their own. As parents we need to allow them to take on those responsibilities even if we could do the job better or faster ourselves. We want our children to strengthen the muscles of decision making, judging what is good and bad for them.
When children start making choices in what is right and wrong, healthy or not healthy, safe or not safe, fair or not fair – they do so under our guidance. But getting them to the point where they are thinking through these choices, weighing the pros and cons, teaches them to learn to rely on themselves.
It may start at home with what is a healthy snack or who and how to include others in games that they are playing. Later they will judge whether to cheat or to be honest on a test, and how and when to stand up for someone who is not being treated fairly.
Helping them to learn to judge things from their own knowledge and conscious is so much more rewarding for them and you as a parent – as you watch them making decisions from a place inside of themselves and not from you as a parent telling them what to do from the outside.