Let Your Child Differ in Opinion


I have often heard people tell their children that they are not allowed to think or feel a certain way and I think it is pointless and a waste of a good teachable moment. Children are as different as snowflakes and often do things, learn things, and feel things differently than their parents. Telling a child not to think or feel a certain way represses and frustrates the child and does not help them to not feel that way.

Teach Children How to Disagree Politely

Allowing a child to disagree with your opinions or feelings is not the same as giving permission for them to have a free for all and act out. Actions are different than feelings and may be controlled. If a child disagrees about something they are passionate about, they are likely to get loud and maybe rude, as adults will. Showing your child how to politely and respectfully disagree can be very important later on in life. It may help your child to stand up more strongly when friends introduce bad ideas, as well.

Remember That Your Child is Not a “Mini You”

Many parents lose sight of the fact that their children are not miniature versions of themselves. Children may have completely different interests and goals than their parents and that should okay. Allowing a child to take clarinet instead of try out for baseball may be the difference between a healthy and well adjusted child and a child with an emotional disorder and behavioral problems. Give kids freedom to explore their interest, rather than repressing them or trying to control them. You may even learn something.

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