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Do your kids have equal say in family decisions?

Who's the Boss? Sorry, Kids. It Isn't You. .
Excerpts from article by Jeff D. Opdyke (WSJ online)

Many kids these days see themselves as fully empowered members of the family, with opinions that carry just as much weight as their parents' opinions do.

That's not always bad. But we parents today have gone overboard. We have inadvertently created kids who think they have the power to dictate what happens in the family -- from where we go to eat to where we vacation to the kinds of braces we each deserve.

It's time, I would argue, to take back control.

Most parents my age -- I'll be 45 in January -- grew up in a time when our choices were limited to one: Whatever Mom and Dad said you were doing, you did.

If my grandparents, who raised me in South Louisiana, said that we were going to visit my uncle in Mississippi over the weekend, I had no other option but to go to Mississippi, no matter how much I didn't want to. If they said Friday night dinner was at the Piccadilly restaurant, I couldn't counter with some other restaurant I might want to eat at instead. It wouldn't have dawned on me to even try.

But that's not how it always goes today.

Moms and dads today often play the role of friend instead of parent. Many of us, no doubt, want to avoid giving our kids the sense of powerlessness, and the distance, we might have felt with our own parents. But in doing so, we've inadvertently given our kids a sense of power that we may one day come to rue.

Link to full article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703609204575641143073119762.html?mod=WSJ_PersonalFinance_PF14

 
tasches

Asked by tasches at 2:36 PM on Nov. 29, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
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Answers (9)
  • Interesting...
    Mama2Becks

    Answer by Mama2Becks at 2:40 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • No. They do have a say, and I definitely take their opinions into consideration but the final decision comes down to me and my husband.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 2:45 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • My girls are 32 and 26. They had no choice in anything. Tell they where adults.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 2:46 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • I've red several articles along those lines as of late... And it's true, people are creating some fairly disturbing family dynamics.
    Around here, what mom says is the law. You don't have to like it, you just have to do it. Good behavior earns rewards and privileges, bad earns consequences.
    ObbyDobbie

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 2:46 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • LOL, I just had an arguement with DD this morning about wearing a hat.

    She argued that she didn't need one and I told her that it wasn't up for discussion but she could pick which hat she WOULD wear.
    Jademom07

    Answer by Jademom07 at 2:50 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • We respect our children's input when it is offered respectfully, and we do consider their opinions on big decisions. But final say is up to me and DH.
    riotgrrl

    Answer by riotgrrl at 2:50 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • Absolutely not.

    I respected my children's natural limitations and their innate sense of their parents' natural authority to put them in any position to be in contention with us. So, no. Our kids did not have a 'vote' in our family's lifestyle or decisions.

    I have seen some seriously stressed-out kids in families where they have a vote... in fact, a woman I know who is a total advocate for democratic families just posted about her 15yo's anxiety disorder. I'm amazed that she has never thought of the connection between those two things.
    LindaClement

    Answer by LindaClement at 3:15 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • It kind of depends on the decision. Life altering decisions? That's for the adults to figure out. What restaurant to go to for dinner? That we will take under advisement. But it's not a democracy... with three kids and two grownups, that would be a bad thing for us!
    Freela

    Answer by Freela at 4:18 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • Sometimes. He has a say in what he wears, as long as it is season appropriate.
    Mom2Just1

    Answer by Mom2Just1 at 4:57 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

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