Do children have freedom of choice?
When I was growing up, I don’t think children had much choice. I was always bombarded with statements like ‘when we were younger…’ Or ‘if it was in my day….’ That made me feel like back in the day, when those older than me were younger, things were done much differently and children behaved differently. It also made me wonder if choice was perhaps a new word.
Some stories just sounded cruel and gruesome, some sounded fun, some just sounded archaic and plain boring. More so there was never a valid explanation as to why things were done like that. Children didn’t ask, they just did as they were told. They didn’t have a voice, why, they didn’t meet it, after all, the adults always knew better.
I will be honest, that is not how I am raising Miss T. Yes, I am the adult and I know better, but I need her to say her mind so I can know her mind and know if I am on the right track (I didn’t get a parenting manual).
Sometimes though, I wish she could listen and believe that mummy knows best. But no, she is at that stage where she thinks she knows best. Shoes are our biggest problem. She wants to pick her own shoes. Imagine the war in the morning! Of course, half the time I let her wear her bright pink flowery shoes with an outfit that does not go (she needs to find out for herself and carve her own fashion sense, as long as she is decent).
Then there are times when her requests plain don’t make sense, like this morning. She is on the potty and I start running water for her to bath. She goes ‘No bathing’. I think, what and say out loud ‘what?’ She thinks she is making progress at this time and responds ‘I don’t want!’ In my head I went ‘Mxm, this child’. She baths every morning, and today she just doesn’t want? What’s with that? Mind you, she still wanted to go to school, but without bathing. Maybe she thinks she is the only one who baths?
Her voicing her wants like that made me realize that though I want her to communicate her wants and needs, I still need to look out for outrageous things like today and I need to be ready to nip them in the bud. Parenting is not a walk in the park, I know that there will be more outrageous demands as she grows older. My prayer is that I have the wisdom to understand and give the right answer and guide her well. I also pray that she will make the right choices most of the time.