As with most things in parenting, prevention is a better approach than putting out fires. Prevention is done when you are calm, cool and collecting, while putting out fires is always when things are heated and you and your kid are both emotional and confused. Teaching your kids techniques that will help them make good decisions quickly will make them more independent and ensure they will be able to fulfill their own needs. In return, this will reduce your parenting burden and make you more confident they can manage once they leave home.
Here are some more things you can do on a regular basis when you are relaxed that will help you send a message of respect to your kids and strengthen their “choice muscle”.
Some kids are afraid that because they cannot see a way out, they are stuck. We all get stuck when we do see no option that will get us out of a painful situation or get us to a desired situation.
That is OK, because thinking of options is a skill that needs to be taught. Ask your child, “What’s the worst that can happen?” or “What can go wrong?” or “Tell me the craziest solution you can think of”. It is important to think of options and while I suggest coming up with crazy things, I would like to emphasize you should aim for solutions, not problems. If you focus on endless possible problems, you are going to find them. Looking for many problems is a dangerous zone that may create more fear than help.
Read more about how to make choices…