Leadership demands that we make tough choices. ~ Alan Autry


We have exercised the right to choose for many, many years.  If you reminisce backwards, you’ll recognize at just how early of an age you were making choices.  We become wiser in making choices as we mature, oftentimes because we made mistakes in earlier choices. You’ll want to help your children to make good choices in your role as their parent.  How can you teach them right from wrong and help them to make wise choices? Here are some tips.


Learning Right from Wrong


Each of us has a built-in detection system for knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is called conscience, and its key indicator is a feeling of being comfortable or uncomfortable. Comfortable runs parallel with what is right. Uncomfortable runs parallel with what is wrong.  It’s truly a simple, powerful system, but a child needs to be taught that it is there, and that it’s a wonderful way for them to learn if what they are about to do is right or wrong. The sooner you teach your child about this wonderful monitor, the better is for him and for you.


Small Things Are Important


You can guide your child’s choices by using everyday events to strengthen his understanding that his feelings of comfort and discomfort will tell him if a choice is right or wrong. Just ask a few gentle questions about what preceded his choice, and see if he honored what he felt or not. You can teach him that choosing the right and feeling comfortable goes a long way in his life. Praise him with a pat on the back when you see him make a right choice.  A little loving goes a long way.


When He Makes a Mistake


Your child will make mistakes; it’s inevitable.  If you are there with a few gentle questions so see what his thinking process was, and with a few reminders about how the concept of right and wrong are behind his decision-making process, you can guide him into more mileage from his mistakes toward bettered decisions in the future. This is a much better solution than in chastising him for his mistake. He will feel better for exercising control through his decision making than in feeling guilty for his mistakes.

Don’t Try to Prevent Their Mistakes


Only in the doing – the practicing – does anybody become stronger, and this is true of your child and his decision-making process.  He might have to make mistakes and hurt over them, but these choices (and their consequences) are precisely how he learns a better way. Look how you’ve learned from your mistakes!  Assign little responsibilities and let him learn from his choices….unless the puppy looks really, really hungry!

Showing Him by Example


It may not occur to your child that in your role as parent, you, too, make choices and decisions. A little story about how you make decisions might go a long way in helping him to make good choices and decisions himself.  If you show him that you love and trust yourself because you rely on feeling comfortable or uncomfortable, and how that relates to right or wrong, he will learn these crucial lessons himself under the same umbrella of love and trust. He wonders a lot about what life will be like when he grows up.  You can show him how learning the right way to use this marvelous tool will make his growing up easier, too, because he is guided and directed by the very goodness he is.

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