Helping Your Child to Have Their Own Opinion

My oldest, like me, is an “arguer.” He is a very black and white kinda person. He, again like me, is incensed if he sees an injustice and is quick to point it out. He also believes things very passionately and is quick to tell me if I have said something that goes against it. “Uhh, mom you said we could have this for dessert… Mom, you told us we would have time to do this before dinner…. Mom, you said they were coming over today?!?!” Well, it keeps me honest….as well as makes me very careful how I word things! The interesting thing is he has become my quiet child when we are around others. My youngest is “a bull in a china shop.” He knows no stranger and is quick to share a story or antidote with almost anyone around. Again, keeps me honest. Hmmmm what is God trying to teach me? We sure live our lives in a bubble as parents!

The thing I love about both my boys is that they are very opinionated. I don’t ever want them to lose this characteristic. I want them both to be able to think for themselves, stand up for themselves and others even if it isn’t the popular opinion. How I parent will definitely impact this in their lives. Do I immediately squash any opinion that comes up other than mine? Do I answer with “because I said so!” Do I take the time to answer the countless “why’s?” Do I sit and listen to their hearts, their hurts and their struggles? Do I take the time to listen to their explanations and thoughts even if — especially if — it is a different view than mine?

In this world we live in everything around us is forcing opinions…. on almost everything. We want our kids to grow up thinkers and leaders. This is an incredibly important topic, especially today.