I was looking around at blogs and I found a really great quote on one of them. The blog is www.justbeekoz.blogspot.com and I'm posting the quote below because it's something to think about with our children.
There is a natural tendency for kids to "cut their teeth" with us by trying out emotions and pushing against us on seemingly small matters. We shouldn't be surprised when they try. In fact, we should be hoping that they do. Too often, I meet parents who tell me that they want to raise strong, confident adults yet they cannot stand for their child to say or do anything to oppose them. My question is this: How do you expect your 16 year old daughter to say no to a boy's unwanted advances when she hasn't been allowed to say no at home? How do you expect your son to refuse the egging on of his friends to take drugs when you've never even allowed for the possibility of him making a choice on his own up to this point? Watch the movie Ella Enchanted for a delightful look at how the "gift" of obedience can actually turn out to be a curse. Teach your child that he always has a choice. There are surely consequences, both good and bad, for each choice he makes, but giving him the choice to choose will go a long way in sharpening his teeth so that he can make his mark on the world.
Hal Runkel, LMFT, author of ScreamFree Parenting:Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool.
When my oldest was little (she's 18 now) I did not give her any choices what so ever. I picked out every single detail of her life. Then when she got a little older I would get mad at her because she couldn't make up her mind about something trivial. I would ask her what movie she wanted to watch and she could never make a decision. Well, duh... I never taught her how to make a decision. I have had to learn how to give the other kids choices (that I could live with of course)so that they could someday make decisions on their own. This seems so practical but I guess I was raised in a different era because when we were little our parents did all of the talking, all of the deciding, and all of the work. Maybe it was simpler back then? Who knows... But I do want my children to be strong, independent, and ambitious, so I'm going to have to give them the tools to do that.