RQOTD - Monday

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3inpink's picture
Joined: 01/11/07
Posts: 451
RQOTD - Monday

Hi Girls - hope you don't mind if I post this but it's a question that's been a big thing with me lately and I thought I'd get some opinions.

Keeping in mind that a lot of us on here are FTM's but your opinion's can help also.

At what point in a child's life is it okay to let them make a decision even if we disagree?

3inpink's picture
Joined: 01/11/07
Posts: 451

I can't really answer cause I'm on the fence. We've had two situations arise with Emma over the past two weeks.

We participate in CCD classes to prepare the girls for the Sacraments and being catholic. Emma is giving me a hard time with attending Mass every week and it wasn't a problem until DH and I had an argument about it. His position is he has no use or time for church that's my problem and he'll just attend when he has to, IE = Emma's actual communion on May 5th.

So Emma hasn't gone to church with me in a few weeks, I've missed a few masses also and then last week Kailee and I both went and Emma opted to stay with her father and Gabby. This week we had a huge conversation and she said it's bored and she doesn't want to do things that are not fun, I told her that was part of life and if she wanted to enjoy the "fun" part of communion which is dress shopping and the party and pictures and presents that she had to do the hard boring part of learning her lessons and going to church.

I DID give her the option to OPT out all together - no church, no CCD, no communion, she needs to see they are all connected. She cannot be like her Dad and only participate in the "fun" part of it. DH did say he would start trying to go to mass with us on Saturday's since he works on Sunday. Our intention was to go on Saturday but we got side tracked and missed it, yesterday no one felt good and we didn't go.

Now here's the other situation.

Emma plays basketball every other Saturday. She has never missed a game/practice and LOVES it. I thought we played this past Saturday, turns out we had the wrong "every other" and it's not till this Saturday. Now, she has a sleep over planned with her BF for Friday night/Saturday. She can still do both but it never works out that way she won't want to leave.

I gave her the choice and she chose the sleepover, I"m not happy about her choice because she is missing Basketball for the first time, she is part of a team and will be letting them down, and they are giving out uniforms that day but now she'll just have to wait.

I know that I need to start letting her make some decisions but are these the right times and the right ones, by letting her make these decisions will it be easier for her to make a decision when she is older, is she even old enough yet?

Ear piercing was another one, I finally said yes, and then they both chickened out, so I guess I dodged that bullet for a little while longer.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

Hmmm, that's a tough one, seriously. And I think it probably all depends on the child, and I'm not sure I will even know the answer until my kids are older. But I will say that I *think* I will require my kids to go to church with us as a family until they are probably 16. Maybe 13 or 14, I'm not sure, but at age 7 I would definitely not let my child decide not to go to church because it's boring. That's just me. It's important to me that my kids grow up in church and get that foundation. I pray for them every day that they will grow up to love God and want to live for Him. Ultimately, I cannot make that decision for them, but I want church to be a part of their lives and of course every child goes through periods where they think church is boring and they would choose not to go, just like every child goes through periods where they think school is boring and they would choose not to go. Both are required in my house. I'm not crazy legalistic about it...of course there are weeks when we don't go to church....we are not feeling well, or have something else that we really need to get done. But I'm TRYING to make Sunday "church day" as much as possible. I feel strongly about that and I do think it's important for the kids to see BOTH parents going (as an example) so I know it would be very hard for me if DH didn't go with us.

For the basketball thing, that one is a little more of a gray area for me but I think I would also make her go if she wasn't sick. I think it's important that when a child signs up to be part of a team, that they understand the meaning of committment, and while I wouldn't force my child to be in a team sport, if they WERE on a team, I would require them to attend the games unless they absolutely couldn't due to sickness or family vacation or something. Again, that's just me.

So I think it really just depends on the individual decision! These are really hard things that I'm not looking forward to dealing with! Good luck Lori and thanks for making me think!! Biggrin

Lavender444's picture
Joined: 03/27/03
Posts: 1944

I think it totally depends on the circumstances of the decision and how well the child can weigh the pros and cons of said decision. I think outside most big things, if my kids can make a resonable argument for why they want it, I can be open to their ideas. or at least reach a compromise.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

25? LOL or when you finally are not supporting their butts!

Seriously though with our girls it was much later than 7. To me, giving them too much control at this age --when they are not old enough to truly understand pros and cons. Some choices --things that don't have major consequence such as what to eat etc I gave them.

Church? My position with Tiff --which is the same position I will take with Zayden -- you are not an adult, you need to learn these things and my responsibility as your mother is to teach. My DH is not religious so he rarely went to church, his girls were not raised religious and he made those choices for them, but Tiff was my responsibility. As an adult she can chose her religion or even no religion, that was her choice. Before that, it was my choice. Confirmation (at 15) was when she got to make that choice under church law and that was fine. She choose to be confirmed. I would not give them a choice at this age. Dad can make that choice --he is an adult -- but you (child) are not and God gave me the responsibility to make that choice for you. Shame on your DH though -- when Tiff was younger and even now with Z, Charley will go to church with me, even though he does not believe.

Basketball -- to me the same thing -- you need to teach commitment. You made a commitment to your team, you made a commitment to this sport --that is 100 times more important than a sleep over. Tiff was very active in sports, she was a swimmer but at 7-8 she also did Tball and soccer -- if she decided she didn't want to do that anymore, she had to wait till the end of the season. IMHO we need to teach our children to honor their commitments - if that means missing something fun, so be it. That is what happens as adults too! I cannot count the times I have missed something "fun" because of a work commitment. Oh well.
I just think giving kids too much control too young is a nightmare. I think it leads to more serious issues down the road. I would never give a child the right to make those decision because they really at that age only think about today and tomorrow.

For what its worth --ear piercing was 13. Period. She could get her ears pierced if she wanted. Anything else she had to wait to 18.

Joined: 01/12/09
Posts: 658

"SoCaliLover" wrote:

Basketball -- to me the same thing -- you need to teach commitment. You made a commitment to your team, you made a commitment to this sport --that is 100 times more important than a sleep over.

THIS. its is unfair to her coach and her team for her to decide to have fun with her friends instead. Joining a team and making a commitment means that you sometimes miss out on some of the other "fun things" in life. When she gets older its not like she can skip out on work to go out with friends and not deal with the consequences. I say you tell her that if that is her decision then she needs to tell her coach and her teammates that she is skipping the game since she has decided the sleepover takes priority. Should the coach decide to bench her for the next game, then she will see that her decisions carry consequences, not all consequences may be bad, but some she may not like. If she doesn't tell the coach then all she sees from the decision she made is she gets to have fun.

The ear piercing thing to me isn't as big of an issue as the basketball, if she is irresponsible and doesn't care for her ears, they will close over. problem solved.

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

I agree with everyone else. I'd let her decide stuff like "ham sandwich or pb&j" or "red dress or green shorts" or "brush your teeth first or put your PJs on first" but stuff that affects other people (like her team) then I wouldn't let it be an option. I was thinking the same thing as Kim - if it was her job she wouldn't be able to take off.

As far as church - that's just something everyone needs to decide themselves. I personally wouldn't let my child miss unless I wasn't going. However, if your Dh doesn't go it may be harder to enforce. When we were young we were never allowed to miss - even if we were sick. My mom was hardcore. Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesdays. I hated it for a few years but still had to go.

As for other decisions, I can't really say until we are at that point. I already decided that Kara won't have her ears pierced until she asks me if she can - but I was like your girls. I asked my mom over and over and chickened out every time. The last time the pedi said enough was enough and they all held me down and did it - LOL.

Joined: 01/12/09
Posts: 658

Sorry I forgot the chuch part.

I think 7 is far to young to decide that. When she is older (13/14 if she is very mature or 16/17) and can clearly explain (other then its boring) about her religious beliefs then I say no she shouldn't have a decision. Dont they have confirmation in gr 8? I thought that they had first communion in gr 2 and confirmation in gr 8 and that confirmation was basically them CONFIRMING they wanted to be part of the church, since they were then considered old enough to make that choice. (please correct me if I am wrong)

So to sum up my ramblings

Church - too young to make that decision herself

Basketball - If it were me I wouldn't have given her the choice I would have suggested an alternative date for the sleepover. Since it was given I say she explain her decision to her coach and team

Earings - why not, let her decided, its not a major issue, doesn't affect anyone else but her, and if she neglects them, you take them out and let them grow over

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

"mama22Girls" wrote:

Sorry I forgot the chuch part.

I think 7 is far to young to decide that. When she is older (13/14 if she is very mature or 16/17) and can clearly explain (other then its boring) about her religious beliefs then I say no she shouldn't have a decision. Dont they have confirmation in gr 8? I thought that they had first communion in gr 2 and confirmation in gr 8 and that confirmation was basically them CONFIRMING they wanted to be part of the church, since they were then considered old enough to make that choice. (please correct me if I am wrong)

YUP -- Confirmation was Tiff's choice -- I encouraged it but she made it. Beyond that, Tiff was the great barginer, she would sometimes argue she didn't want to go to church (or some event) because of some great reason she had thought up but the truth was she didn't want to get her butt outta bed, get dressed (I made her dress up even when other kids came in jeans) and go sit quietly for an hour. I mean, really can you blame her? How many kids will choose dressing up, sitting in church vs. sleeping in, watching cartoons in your pjs, and running around playing.

That said, I am not great about church right now....when we moved last year I really don't like the parish we are in presently, knew we weren't gonna stay, didnt really want to invest in a short term situation and there were few English services. (sounds bad I know --maybe I'm the one who was being lazy LOL) Once we move, we will be in a great parish with a great church so we will start going again.

Even if I took her kicking and screaming sometimes, today Tiff actually thanks me. She met some amazing people at church and through CCD and it really anchored her in a lot of ways. I am so glad now that I made those choices for her!

3inpink's picture
Joined: 01/11/07
Posts: 451

WOW I didn't expect to get such heated comments, lol.

As far as the ear piercing I was 8 when I got mine done, I don't want to do it cause I don't want to see her cry, and I will be the one caring for them. I also said I didn't want to do it when they were younger cause it was their body and they should make the decision about what to do to their body.

The church thing is harder because of DH being a jerk. If he would help me with this commitment it would be easier, she is acting out on his comments and his actions. I have sat her down and talked about it.

The basketball thing was her choice because I confused the dates, not her. Her BF's parent's divorce is final tomorrow and her mom asked me if Emma could sleep over and I automatically said sure no problem cause there is no basketball, so that is where the decision on her part came through. It's only the second meeting of basketball for the season, they do not play real games, they are learning the positions and how to dribble. There will be games eventually but for now they are beginners. There is no benching for missing games, it's just a fun extra-curricular activity.

I agree with the age and being young to make decisions, however, she comes from a long line of indecisive people and I'm just hoping to help her be better a choice making. I am horrible at making decisions but can do it, sometimes I'm fine with my choice sometimes I regret, which is life there are other times when I beat myself to a pulp and can't bring myself to make the decision, then I ask DH and that makes it worse because unless it's directly related to his job he will not and can not make a decision.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

I can see your point about the basketball. And the church thing would be much harder without DH's support.

I can see both sides of the earring thing. I got mine pierced when I was 9-ish and it was absolutely horrible. I cried and made a complete fool of myself in Claire's and hated every second of it. But, I understand it being some sort of "right of passage" for a tween or teenage girl to choose to get them pierced and go through the hell of it. ha ha Both of my girls have their ears pierced because my husband wanted them pierced, and it was perfectly fine with me, and I love how it looks on them, but I probably wouldn't have really thought about piercing them as infants had he not wanted it. I'm pretty sure neither one of them is going to hate me later and say "why did you pierce my ears without my permission!!!" LOL Looking back, I WISH my mom would have pierced mine as an infant so I wouldn't have had to endure that pain that I still remember! Wink

I think as a general rule of thumb the person (Amy?) who said that kids only think about today and tomorrow is right. They have very little concept of consequences and that's why we continue to make most decisions for them. But since you want to teach her to make decisions, you can make sure to let her make as many decisions as possible that won't have a big impact on her or others if she makes the "wrong one".

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

LOL Lori --not meant to be heated Smile These were HUGE issues with me and DH as the girls were growing up. DH would let his girls do whatever whenever, they were "adults" and could make their choices (mind you we are talking teenagers) and I was more trying to teach lessons. Things got frustrating when Tiff could not make choices and Age and Ash could. Mind you that meant Tiff got her ears pierced at 13 and by 15 Ash had 20 holes in her ears. Even now though, I don't know that I would change things. But I do know Age and Ash were more likely to manipulate things and give an inch they took a mile.

Now with the added info on the bball --thats more a different choice. I would still be more likely to try to do both just cause, but with her friends issues, its also important to teach compassion and understanding.

The church really is a hard one and I really feel for you --its SO hard when DH is not on board and not activley helping. I made that more my time with Tiff and something special just for us. We woudl do things like picnics after church or meeting up with friends so it would be something more fun. If you don't go to church -- you don't get to do what we do after (believe it or not that actually got the older girls to go to churhc everyone once in a while --we would do easter brunch after service on easter --you didn't go to church -you didn't go to brunch. LOL. It will be frustrating for me again as Z grows up cause DH is not religious --but at least he won't discourage it even if he doesnt encourage it.

You should never beat yourself to a pulp for a decision. You made a choice and sometimes they work out sometimes not. I do understand maybe wanting her to be a more assertative decision maker --that may be learned as much from watching you make decisions and being more assertive with it? IDK? Maybe say we are going to do x, y, z and here is what I have considered when making those choices?

Girls are hard! LOL especially as they get that age.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

"SoCaliLover" wrote:

Things got frustrating when Tiff could not make choices and Age and Ash could. Mind you that meant Tiff got her ears pierced at 13 and by 15 Ash had 20 holes in her ears.

And for whatever its worth, now Ash has one hole in her ear thankfully taking out most of the insane holes she put there and three very small and discrete tattoos and Tiff has pierced pretty much everything she can and has to wear long sleeves to avoid showing the hideous (to me) tattoos she got. Oh well... I tried Smile

I picked 13 for her cause that is what my parents did too. Not sure if that was a good reason or not. I can't say I would honestly had had an issue with ear piercing earlier --I just made it a rite of passage as part of becoming a teen.

3inpink's picture
Joined: 01/11/07
Posts: 451

"SID081108" wrote:

I can see your point about the basketball. And the church thing would be much harder without DH's support.

I can see both sides of the earring thing. I got mine pierced when I was 9-ish and it was absolutely horrible. I cried and made a complete fool of myself in Claire's and hated every second of it. But, I understand it being some sort of "right of passage" for a tween or teenage girl to choose to get them pierced and go through the hell of it. ha ha Both of my girls have their ears pierced because my husband wanted them pierced, and it was perfectly fine with me, and I love how it looks on them, but I probably wouldn't have really thought about piercing them as infants had he not wanted it. I'm pretty sure neither one of them is going to hate me later and say "why did you pierce my ears without my permission!!!" LOL Looking back, I WISH my mom would have pierced mine as an infant so I wouldn't have had to endure that pain that I still remember! Wink

I think as a general rule of thumb the person (Amy?) who said that kids only think about today and tomorrow is right. They have very little concept of consequences and that's why we continue to make most decisions for them. But since you want to teach her to make decisions, you can make sure to let her make as many decisions as possible that won't have a big impact on her or others if she makes the "wrong one".

I do agree that they can't grasp time, although Emma being closer to 8 certainly can. She knows her days of the week, what her weekly schedule is for classes and after school activities, she also does understand consequences for her actions.

If it weren't solely my fault for the basketball/sleepover confusion there would be no decision. She LOVES her sports and for her to choose her friend over it actually surprised me, but under the circumstances of the parents divorce I can understand and appreciate her compassion.

She is horrible at making what to eat decisions by the way, and since I've eliminated my self from the what to wear decisions there is less fighting between us, of course she is not going to go out looking like a slob or be dressed inappropriate for her age. We also do not have the same taste in clothing or shoes AT ALL, that was always a HUGE fight between my mother and I, I always had to get what she wanted or liked not what I wanted or liked cause she was paying. It was a huge relief to me when she wasn't involved in my wedding dress shopping.

I am dreading communion dress shopping with Emma and my mother because again, my mother will pull the "I'm paying" card and it drives me insane.

Joined: 01/12/09
Posts: 658

if it was your error then instead of giving her the choice I would have told her if she wants the sleepover she needs to go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to get up in time for the game. Then either bring her friend to the game or drop her off on the way. It is great that she is being compassionate with her friends situationd.

Even though the game is not a "real game" its giving her the impression that practice isn't as important as the game. Personally I think practice games are probably more important. I was raised in a family where sports was big and we all participated so that is where my thought process comes from.

SoCaliLover's picture
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

"3inpink" wrote:

I do agree that they can't grasp time, although Emma being closer to 8 certainly can. She knows her days of the week, what her weekly schedule is for classes and after school activities, she also does understand consequences for her actions.

If it weren't solely my fault for the basketball/sleepover confusion there would be no decision. She LOVES her sports and for her to choose her friend over it actually surprised me, but under the circumstances of the parents divorce I can understand and appreciate her compassion.

She is horrible at making what to eat decisions by the way, and since I've eliminated my self from the what to wear decisions there is less fighting between us, of course she is not going to go out looking like a slob or be dressed inappropriate for her age. We also do not have the same taste in clothing or shoes AT ALL, that was always a HUGE fight between my mother and I, I always had to get what she wanted or liked not what I wanted or liked cause she was paying. It was a huge relief to me when she wasn't involved in my wedding dress shopping.

I am dreading communion dress shopping with Emma and my mother because again, my mother will pull the "I'm paying" card and it drives me insane.

I think kids can grasp the basic concepts of time early without truly understanding consequences IYKWIM? They get class schedule but don't really get if I screw around in this class today, I will really be hurting when the test comes in two weeks. They learn that --just seem slowly. Even as teenagers that's a hard lesson to understand which is why teens tend to be such risk takers --they don't get what they do today can effect the rest of their lives cause their brains just aren't wired that way yet? (wait I know many adults who still haven't learned that LOL) But that's a discussion for another day!

I have to laugh about the clothes Lori --you have a really good attitude to be more hands off. My mom and I had totally different tastes and we fought from the time I was young about clothes. My mom --even when I was 11-13 --wanted me to wear dresses with petticoats and aprons, frilly lacy things that were HORRIBLE! I was bad with Tiff too --now she pushed the limits of what was inappropriate. I was so happy that for several years she had to wear uniforms so I didn't have to deal with it.

At least for communion dresses, they are all sorta a similar style right? White pretty dresses? I can laugh now but because we were at each other's throats for clothes, she went shopping with her aunt for her confirmation dress. Her sponsor was a elder in the church --ran the CCD classes for years, wife of a federal judge, very sweet but cautioned Tiff over an over that her dress needed to be demur, pretty and very modest. THIS is what she came home with, bright pink --strapless. I was MORTIFIED. Lesson learned --today I look at it and yes it was inappropirate but kinda cute. Then I was so embarrased. Oh well -- it was Tiff!

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

"SoCaliLover" wrote:

I think kids can grasp the basic concepts of time early without truly understanding consequences IYKWIM? They get class schedule but don't really get if I screw around in this class today, I will really be hurting when the test comes in two weeks. They learn that --just seem slowly. Even as teenagers that's a hard lesson to understand which is why teens tend to be such risk takers --they don't get what they do today can effect the rest of their lives cause their brains just aren't wired that way yet? (wait I know many adults who still haven't learned that LOL) But that's a discussion for another day!

I agree with this 100%! It's not about them understanding the concept of time or the concept of consequences. Even Sophia understands what a consequence is. But there is no way that a 7-year-old truly understands long-term consequences. As Amy said, even some adults have not yet figured that out (or at least they refuse to live beyond pleasing themselves TODAY and TOMORROW)

3inpink's picture
Joined: 01/11/07
Posts: 451

What could be a long term consequence at 7 years old? She knows that if she doesn't do well in second grade she doesn't get to go to 3rd grade, I see that as long term but what other situations at this age could there be?

I certainly wasn't asking about allowing her to make decisions that would have long term consequences. Missing one basketball game wouldn't be long term, the Church thing would have been a decision that could have been changed at anytime, since you can find and your accept your religion when you are ready. But she has decided through many conversations with myself and DH and she understands that she will go to church, and ccd and receive her sacraments and that life is not always fun and exciting but to get to the fun and excitement you need to go through the boring and annoying parts also. This will be a constant decision and always changing how you feel about it.

Obviously my original question of when is it time to allow your child/children to make decisions is seriously open for debate and there is a lot of criteria to base it on, maturity of the child (and in some cases the parent, LOL), as well as the severity of the decision.

Amy - the clothing situation is such an area of contention for me. I made myself CRAZY as a 39 year old woman for weeks before Christmas Eve because I knew my mother would be there and would have a remark about what I was wearing if it did not fit her "approval" list. I hate that allow her to do that to me but as a child I had no choice.

I refuse to do that to Emma. She has gone upstairs to change her clothes on several occasions, don't get me wrong, but only because it was inappropriate and not something I did not like. I allow her to shop (with her own money) and basically pick out what she wants. She just picked out a pair of sneakers that are so ugly but she loved them and even though I tried to change her mind by showing her other options those are the ones she really wanted. I don't have to wear them and she is not by any means embarrassing me by wearing them, on the other hand, Kailee has made me shake my head on many occasions because of the combination of clothing she wears but you know it's just her own unique style. *SIGH* I am learning early with 3 girls that will all be teenagers at the same time to pick my battles now and allow them some *freedom* to see that I trust them.

These are all just my opinions and thoughts, not meant to say anyone is wrong or right.

Thanks for all the input! It is really appreciated and it helps to hear other opinions.

ETA: Oh and Amy - I learned early on that if I went shopping with a relative or someone else that I had a better chance of getting something I wanted as opposed to something my mother approved of or wanted, I don't want my girls to do that, I want to enjoy shopping with them, KWIM? I'm not saying that's what Tiff did but it just made me think of that, lol.