When Children Make Important Decisions

Sometimes, children make incredibly mature decisions without the contribution of adults. Sometimes, they make a better decision than adults might.

The problem posed when a child does decide to make a decision on his/her own is that the person who is still legally responsible for making decisions for a child is not consulted. The parent or guardian.

Many children would say they do not need their parent’s approval when making a decision. This is obviously a sign of independence; however, that does not mean the choice made is always right.

Paul Brager decides to do some things in More Precious Than Rubies without telling his father. He is not being defiant; he is only being doubtful about his own feelings and even risks his life in order to seek the truth. When he confronts the evil Mr. Theisen in Mr. Theisen’s office after school, with no witnesses present, he is showing a maturity that he has never possessed before. His intention is to save his father and brother from the deeds of Theisen and he does not disclose his plan to his father for fear of making his family’s situation worse.

Many children have made equally noble and brave decisions. Unlike Paul, they are usually not in grave danger.
Once they have children, parents need to communicate to them the dangers involved in deciding things without their parents’ input. But only by establishing a trustworthy, respectful relationship with their children will parents succeed at teaching the children the value of right and wrong.

Children will not be intimidated when approaching their parents about important decisions if this respectful relationship exists.


About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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5 Responses to When Children Make Important Decisions

  1. snacksformax says:

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit blog hop, Randy!

  2. Renee C. says:

    This is an interesting issue. When it comes to decision-making, our past experiences weigh in on the choices we make. This can be both an advantage (if we take the wealth of our experiences with consequences for example) and a hindrance (because we may have a bias based on a single experience). Maybe this is why sometimes kids make better decisions sometimes because they don’t have the bias of past experience. They can come at an issue with fresh eyes. I think as teachers and parents, our job is to teach our children how to weigh options and think through consequences when making a decision. For example, my daughter recently wanted to use her allowance (she is a hoarder so had at least $200 to spend!) to purchase an electric scooter. Instead of saying “No way!”, we had her think through the pros (e.g., it’s fun; maybe can get a cheaper second hand one in the spring) with the cons (e.g., it’s a lot of money; it’s the fall, aka rainy season so you can use it; you won’t be able to buy something else you may like because you’re using ALL your money; etc…). I think process is really important. Sorry, I strayed somewhat from the topic! lol

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop again Randy! 😀

    • randycoates says:

      Right. And as a teacher, I can use the analogy that the process that students use to find an answer is more important than the answer. In a way, this relates to your example.

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