Teaching your children that they have choices empowers them. It moves them away from victimhood, blame, and helplessness. But first, it starts with you.
YOU need to believe that YOU have choices, every step of the way. You may not be able to control external circumstances but you sure can control how you respond to a certain situation. You can empower yourself, see the gift, learn the lesson, or… you can be victimized by it. In the former, you will feel better, I can guarantee you that. As it has been said many times “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”. Choose to not suffer, and let pain be your guide, not your enemy.
Thus, teach your children from the time they are little that they have choices and choices entail consequences. Consequences are our greatest teachers. Don’t rob them of the rich lessons life can bring them.
Obviously, we need to adapt the kind of choice we offer our children to their level of development. Some choices are not meant to be made by children. Use your judgment and learn from books, blogs, or parenting experts. There is a fine line… you don’t want to create a spoiled brat, a monster, no more than you want to confuse your child or have them suffer a consequence they are not ready to handle, no more than make a decision on something they are not ready to tackle. All in due time 🙂
Once you have grasped this concept. The next important factor to take into consideration is to make choices based on love, not fear. Choices born out of fear or guilt, are choices we regret later. So learn, and then teach, the process of making a choice…. Am I making this choice because I am scared or because I love myself, the other or the situation. Don’t choose fear.