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Children put decision-making skills to task

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How do you know when to say no and when to say yes?I wish I had a crystal ball when it comes to answering my children’s questions. After three kids, you would think I could make decisions in seconds.

Instead, I labor over whether I should let them spend the night at a friend’s house, go shopping without me, or attend a concert or some other freedom-enhancing activity.

If the girls ask me if they can have ice cream or my son says, “O-Gurt,” because he wants a second helping of yogurt, those are pretty easy decisions – not life-changing. If it’s the wrong answer … well, there really is no wrong answer to these questions.

But, when my 14-year-old asked me this week if she could attend a concert with a friend, this was a big deal to me. And, while I don’t want to ”ruin her life” or be ”too overbearing,” it’s my job to protect her. God gave me that job, and I take it seriously.

My first response to her when she couldn’t tell me where the concert was planned, was “no.” Well, that didn’t go over too well. She was obviously not happy and expressed that unpleasantness quite well.

Not expecting her reaction, I thought I would dig some more. Yea! I at least found out the name of the group. Progress. 

When met with more defensiveness, I said no again.

You would have thought I would have stopped there, but something told me she really wanted to go to this event.

Then, I went to the Internet, searched the location of the concert (Yes! There really was a concert at a well-established venue), looked into our newspaper’s archives for stories written about the event (Yes! More information – and written by a friend!!!), and then I talked to the reporter the next day and was assured this was going to be a really exciting concert event that would be good for my daughter.

Finally, I spoke to my daughter’s friend’s mother who assured me she would be attending with the girls.

Then, my answer was “yes.”

Whew! …. Making decisions on candy and “O-Gurt” are a lot less stressful!

 – Linda Lynn

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Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›