Teenage Boys Alone on Forest Trip

Controlling our children – is it a good thing or a bad thing? What do you think? It can be very easy to try and control every move your child makes – every decision, every choice. But does it make for a happy child who can look after themselves? Probably not.

We want our children to grow up doing as much as they can for themselves and having an element of control over their own life is part of that. Having control will make them feel empowered and trusted by you. They will feel like they have a bit of freedom and choice whilst teaching them about making good decisions and making bad ones!

Giving control over to your child in some areas – perhaps what activities they want to do out of school or what they do with friends – can only be a good thing. Once it is handed over though we need to step back and not try to change their mind or have any influence over the decision they have made. That just shows a child that their parents don’t trust them. We  tell them they have control but actually they don’t – their parents still have it.

Giving age-appropriate control helps children learn many important skills such as judgement, decision-making, problem-solving etc. It also helps us recognise that our children can be extremely resourceful, capable and adaptable. If children are able to do more for themselves it also means that parents have less to do as they take more responsibility for themselves!