Will You Say, YES?

During one of my group discussions, the topic of allowing children choices came up. The OLD FASHIONED idea that "Children should be seen and not heard" is so antiquated to me. During the era of our parents and possibly their parents, that adage was acceptable. However, in this day and time, research has shown that allowing children to play a role in certain decisions is in fact healthy for their self-esteem, thus empowering them.

The particular conversation was about clothes and shoes and whether or not children should be allowed to choose what they want to wear. My two cents is this: I allowed my children to pick their own clothes out during their preschool years. I allow my children to tell me if they disagree with something I have said, and overall, I encourage communication between us. They know I'm in charge... they know it's my rules, but why should I abuse that power by not allowing them to have a say, a choice?

I hear them out, we weigh the pros and cons, and I bounce it back to them for reflection in regards to what the best choice is. There have been times I disagreed because I knew what the outcome would be, but I still allowed them the opportunity to experience the failure because it is a life lesson and a lesson in cause and effect.

Just because we hold a certain title... PARENTS, doesn't mean we know everything. There were times when our parents would say, "because I said so!" Think back, did that answer ever make you feel empowered? It most certainly did not empower me. Personally, I am attempting to raise well-rounded individuals who can stand for something and clearly state their wants, needs, and desires. They can't do that sitting in a corner or a room not being heard. Our President said it best: "YES, WE CAN!!!!"
Our children are our future and we have to invest in that future. So... next time your child asks you, "Mom, can I say something?" or "Mom, do you have a sec?" or "Mom, can we talk?" What will your response be? I hope it is, "Yes!"

Are you empowering your children? Or are you caught up in the land of yester-years?