Parental involvement ensures children acquire good decision-making skills. Parents need to teach children right from wrong and how to learn from mistakes. Self confidence is built through making good choices and meeting expectations. Unfortunately some parents are not involved in their child's day-to-day life experiences. These children do not have the opportunity to learn through parental guidance. Bad choices and poor self esteem result from unstructured parenting.
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Acquiring Decision-Making Skills
A child who makes a bad choice needs to be held accountable for his actions, but a parent must be present to enforce consequences. A small child who is held accountable for his actions will eventually learn how to make good choices that do not result in negative outcomes. He will learn how to take responsibility for himself and will be able to conduct himself without constant supervision.
A child must understand what is expected of him before he is punished. Setting expectations will provide a structure for your child to test his decision-making skills. If you expect your child to clean his room and he does not, he should suffer the consequences of choosing not to clean his room. Effectively communicating your expectations to your child is very important. A child who does not understand what is expected of him will not understand why he is being punished. Set expectations and punishments that are age-appropriate.
Your child will not make good choices all of the time. Being involved with your child and helping him understand the difference between failing and being a failure will build your child's self esteem and confidence in his ability to make good decisions. A child who does not have a trusted parent's assurance and guidance will continue to make bad choices and suffer low self esteem as a result of his poor decision-making skills.
According to The Children's Research Center "many abused and neglected children later become involved in delinquent and criminal behaviour, ending up in substance abuse programs, training schools, jails, and prisons." A child who does not learn effective decision-making skills will make choices that could lead to criminal behaviour. Many cities are passing ordinances holding both parents and children accountable for children's actions. In Silverton, Oregon, parents can be fined if their child is caught smoking, using illegal drugs or carrying a weapon. Parents can avoid paying fines by attending parenting classes.
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- The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Decision Making
- AllPsych Journal: Successful Parenting Skills that Shape Children's Behaviors
- More Self Esteem: Building Your Child's Self Esteem
- National Crime Prevention Council: Strategy: Holding Parents Accountable for Their Children's Behavior