Do your children have a voice in your home?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/02/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )




This was prompted by another thread. The question is, do your children have a say in what happens in your home? What they wear? What they eat? If they can participate in elective holidays such as Halloween and Valentines day? Essentially, do you listen to what your kids want and possibly change the rules in your home to accommodate what THEY may want?

For me, the rules in my house are basic for hygiene and food. Everything else we make up as we go. I may have a set of standards that I think we should adhere to, but I am flexible, and I want my children to feel like they have a voice. Do yours? Do you listen to what they want?

***Edited to add: or do you think this gives children to much power, and takes away authority from you as parents?


Tara - posted on 11/02/2011




Both of my girls have a voice in our home, within limits.

For things that are dangerous or for things like hygiene and food then I have the ultimate say, but I will still listen to what they want/don't want, etc.

For stuff like what they wear? I give them a choice of a couple of things to wear, they can pick one item from their choices - that way they have some say and power in how they dress but if it is not appropriate (eg. t-shirt and no coat in mid-winter) then they know that their Dad or I will over-rule the "no coat" thing but they still have a choice in what they wear under it.

I don't think that allowing your child a voice in your home undermines you as a parent - I certainly don't feel that way with my children. As long as they know without doubt that the really important decisions (like whether something is dangerous or not) are made by Mama and Daddy, then I don't see the harm in letting them choose things they would like to wear or having options in what they eat for breakfast.

I'm not saying they can say "I want ice cream for breakfast" and get it - I'm saying that I can give them a choice between eggs or cereal (or whatever) and it isn't going to negate my parental authority.

I really feel that if you don't give your children choices and a voice as they grow then you are taking away their power and you are setting them up for failure as adults. They will have to make decisions when they are adults, and if I start preparing them to be able to think about choices and make educated decisions starting from a young age, then I am doing my job as a parent.

I have also started giving them "chores" and will be teaching them things like how to cook basic meals and do their own laundry because these are things they need to know as adults. I think that by teaching them the basics, and teaching them that they have to take responsibility for themselves and their actions then I am giving them a foundation that they can build on as they grow.

Ez - posted on 11/02/2011




I believe children should have a voice. They are not robots and shouldn't be treated as such.

Giving age-appropriate choices is actually not that hard, and it allows them to feel in control of themselves within the boundaries you set for them.

For example, on a rainy day we can't go to the park or play outside. So I will offer a couple of alternative activities and let her choose (going to visit someone, doing some art or craft, watching a movie etc). It doesn't remove the need for me to say 'no'. She could refuse the options I have suggested and ask to go to the beach, and that's clearly not going to happen lol. But it does make us both feel like we're working together, instead of me being some rabid dictator and her nagging the hell out of me.

[deleted account]

The basic rules (hygiene,bed time etc) I am the boss of ;)
But everything else is open to discussion.Not that I give them full reign but I am always interested in others point of view and the same goes for my boys.
I have always let them wear what they want (when they feel like being their own stylist),I am not overly concerned if all they want to eat is plain pasta for weeks on long as they eat fruit as well.I have never offered them anything but water to drink so fruit juice,soft drink etc isn't an issue.
I wouldn't say I am the most easy-going parent but I am also not super strict...I don't think I am organised enough to be!
My ideals and what I believe in changes from day to day!

[deleted account]

My kids absolutely do have a voice in our home. It's their lives too. They know full well that I am the ultimate authority and what I say goes, but I DO ask for their input. That in no way means that they rule the house. Just that I respect their feelings and opinions enough to find out what they are. It is MY job to do what is best for them, but how can I do that w/out all the information? If they really want (or don't want) something and I blow them off just to be boss.... how do I know that they don't have a very good, valid reason for their wishes that is worth changing my opinion for? It's not like I have all the answers. We're all a work in progress in this life. ;)

Carolee - posted on 11/02/2011




I let my kids have a say in almost everything we/they do. They still know that I hold veto power over everybody, even Daddy.


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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/02/2011




I have a 7 year old and an almost 8 month old. The 8 month old sometimes seems to have a louder voice because she determines how much sleep myself and my husband get.

We do ask my 7 year old what she might want to have for dinner some nights (She likes Mac and cheese, soup grilled cheese or pancakes so there aren't any outrageous suggestions like cupcakes) or a show on TV. She also helps grocery shop for snacks in her lunch and to pick out her own clothes. Also whether she wants a shower or a bath on the nights she has to wash up.

But that's it. Yes she can pick her breakfast, but she doesn't pick her bed time. My husband and I had to bring it back by half an hour anyway because she was too tired in school.

I don't feel it takes away my power or authority as a parent. Instead I feel as though it shows my daughter I vaule her input as an individual. And I vaule her opinions and want her to think for herself.

Sonia - posted on 11/02/2011




Okay my children have a voice but It's heard not always followed. I have a 12 & 18 year old. They still talk to me about everything from issues,boyfriends, and girlfriends. Because their heard but I'm still mom and I have the last word.

Amy - posted on 11/02/2011




No way! This house is NOT a democracy! We do occasionally ask for their input to consider when making decisions, but in no way do they each count as a whole vote or we would be outnumbered. Now when it comes to choosing clothing, I let them wear whatever they want - they are much more shaped by their peers' comments than parental forcing -- unless it is a special occasion where they will wear what I want them to wear. I always listen to what they want cuz they tell me all the time, but it is only one bit of input when my husband and I make decisions. They are also learning the difference between FAIR and EGALITARIAN. What is right for one is not necessarily right, warranted for, or earned by all.

Liz - posted on 11/02/2011




My daughter has a voice within reason. Certain boundaries are fixed and are non negotiable - if she refuses a meal and wants ice cream instead, then that's not going to happen - but I give her choices all the time.

I like to think that in later years, if she can articulate her reasons for a choice well enough, then I'll take her wishes into account when her father and I choose to permit her to do something or not. As long as her safety is not compromised and the lessons reinforced will teach her how to function in society as a courteous, honest and responsible woman, I intend to give her a lot of scope to be her own person.

Sharlene - posted on 11/02/2011




Hi , We always have a family vote and it's always us parents that make final decisions.Cheers

Lacye - posted on 11/02/2011




My daughter is her own person. If she wants something, she will let me know. If she doesn't, I'll know that as well. I have no problem with my daughter making some decisions on her own. Of course right now they aren't many because she's only 2 years old but the older she gets the more decisions she will be able to have. I want her to grow up and understand that with some decisions, there are consequences and she will have to deal with those consequences.

Amy - posted on 11/02/2011




My son gets to voice his opinion, we had an issue recently that affected conflicting engagements with him so we asked him which he would prefer to go to. He knows that although we may not do what he wants his opinion is taken into consideration...he is a part of the family too ;)

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