Some children grow up thinking independently while others tend to leach onto their friends, classmates, teachers, siblings, and maybe even their own parents for help. Some people may agree that the best way to encourage a child to be an independent thinker, is to give them choices. If a child is given positive choices to choose from, it will help them to be come not only independent thinkers, but it will also help them to make good and positive choices in life. This idea is much better than making your child’s choices for them or letting them think that it is okay for other people to make their choices for them.
If a child is in a situation where they are being asked or encouraged to do something that is bad and they might or will get in trouble for it, they will have the choice to say no and walk away, or they might try it or do it and risk getting caught and have to pay the consequences for it either when they get caught or sometime later down the road when they do get caught.
If a child is in a situation where they are being asked to do something that is either illegal or just flat out morally wrong, you hope that you have raised them to know that it is either illegal or morally wrong and they should not do it, but it is up to your child to make his or her own choice and face any consequences that those choices may come with. Some of these situation may be less harmful than others and yes, kids will be kids and they will at one point in time or another test their parents boundaries and will try something that they have been told time and time again is bad for them or might hurt them, but you have to learn to pick and choose your battles.
Finding out the hard way that your child has skipped school, got caught smoking a cigarette, or has been found drinking alcohol for the first time, may be minor compared to other things that they may face later down the road. If you teach them early on or try to educate them that certain things are okay while other are not, hopefully they will not even try the bigger things that could get them into even bigger trouble like stealing for example, or weapons.
You want to properly educate your children from a young age, so that if you are not there when they are faced with these choices, you might be able to rest assured that you have guided them to the best of your ability to be able to make the same choice that you would if you had been in their shoes. Some parents would much rather get a call saying that their child was at a party where underage drinking had taken place instead of a call saying that your child has been shot because they were hanging out with the wrong crowd and one thing lead to another and shots were fired and your child is either now in critical condition or you need to go ID them at the local morgue.
You want to raise your child to be able to think independently and be able to say no if someone is trying to encourage them to do something that they think or know for sure is wrong. So many kids these days are falling into peer pressure and not being able to think for themselves and they have every right to be able to make their own choice as long as they are good choices that will keep them out of trouble. Your baby will always be your baby and you will always want to protect them to the best of your ability, but sometimes you have to let them go and learn for themselves about the outside world and the challenges that they will face on a daily basis.
It is just easier for some parents than it is for others. If you have done your best to give your children the best guidance and upbringing possible to ensure that they will make good choices, they will think independently instead of letting other people’s choices influence their decisions.