Does This Tie Go? Helping Kids Make Decisions

1 Comment 17 October 2012

As a dad, I knew from the beginning I wanted my daughters to be good at making decisions.  So, I had to put them in places where they had to make decisions.  Before each of them could talk, I’d ask them to make choices for me.  Clothes are easy and colorful and everything goes with khaki pants, so I started by asking them to help me pick out my shirt before work.  “Do you like the blue one or the other blue one?”, I’d ask, and they’d point to the one they liked.  I also made sure to not only ask their opinion, but to follow it (occasionally checking with mommy’s fashion sense just to be sure).  I wanted to make sure my girls knew that their decisions mattered, even if that meant I was a 5’11 mismatched doll that shaved.

This developed into them wanting to decide not only the shirt, but the shirt-tie-pants combination.  They’ve also gotten socks for me, so now I have argyle socks in black-grey- and blue/purple/pink/green/etc.  For Christmas, mommy let them each pick out a tie for me.  Sydney, not surprisingly, picked out what she liked the best, the brightest solid pink tie they had.  Brooklyn, on the other hand, went with what she thought I’d like the best- a rather tame, black and light grey patterned tie (does that mean she thinks I’m boring?).

They’re still only 5- and 7-years-old, so the jury is still out on how well they’ll make decisions, but at least I know they’ve been making some of their own decisions for a long time. I’m always on the prowl to find ways for them to make decisions on their own, rather than always telling them what they should do.

What decisions do you have your kids make?  What have you learned about them?


- who has written 20 posts on BrianLord.org.

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  1. Mitch Anderson
    Twitter: MitchIsGreen

    Great post and great question. We have often debated how willing are we to let them both enjoy the benefits of good decisions and also suffer the consequences of bad ones. Think a key is to balance this and give them progressive levels of decision-making. As far as offering their opinions, my girls are not shy about telling me how lacking my fashion sense is!

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