On an average day, as an adult, we make over 1000 choices.
Graham Irvine from Riverview Church thinks as parents we need to help our children learn this very fundamental skill that that at as adults we have to use every single day. So making choices and giving our teenagers the opportunity to live by their choices is very fundamental to growing them into that adult that they’re going to be.
When we when we give our children choices what we’re doing is we’re actually empowering them in the relationship. Yes of course with younger children is it appropriate for you to tell them what to do, but eventually, as they become a teenager there needs to be the transition from boss to coach. The coach’s role is to actually present choices and to give advice not to give directive.
So what I want to suggest to parents is they look for opportunities to give their children choices. “So would you like to set the table or help me peel the veggies?” Now you know there’s not a lot to weigh up between setting the table or peeling the vegetables. They’re not necessarily life-changing choices but it’s a bit like the story of David in the Bible.
The scripture tells us that David went out and fought against the lion and the bear and the wolves and so on and that sort of is a precursor to the whole Goliath deal and life’s a little bit like that. We want to give our children the opportunity to see how making choices works in small things that don’t have huge consequences before they go out into the real world. Before they get to a point where they’re making choices in big things that have significant consequences.
Graham recommends Danny Silk’s book “Loving our Kids on Purpose”.
Have a listen to Graham unpack this conversation in full:
More from Graham Irvine: