Importance of good parent leadership

A child learns to make reasonably good decisions by being the beneficiary of parents who model authoritative decision-making, writes family psychologist John Rosemond. (Nicoleta Ionescu/Dreamstime/TNS)

My wife and I were enjoying an evening out in one of our favorite restaurants when a family of three — mother, father, girl of perhaps 4 — were shown to a table next to ours. Immediately, the parents began asking the little one where she wanted to sit. They both stood while she went about trying each chair until she finally settled on one. Well, not really, because as soon as everyone sat, she wanted to move, so she and her father exchanged seats. The entire process took several minutes.

Then the parents began reading to her from the menu and asking her what she wanted to eat. She was obviously having difficulty deciding, so her parents began making suggestions. “Perhaps you’d like this. You had this once and you liked it. How about trying it again?” No, she didn’t think so, so her parents went through the process again ... and again ... and again.

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