Keep an open communication with your child. Staring at an early age, it is important to instill in your child that they can always come to you for anything. Raising your child to make good choices involves talking to them openly about issues that affect them through the years. Each new stage your child encounters brings more tough decisions for him to make. Help to ease this concern by making sure he understands that you’re always there to listen and hear what types of things he is dealing with. When your child knows he can come to you for anything, he’ll be more apt to keep you abreast on his life and any burdens he may carry. Open communication is vital for helping your child understand the importance of making good decisions.
Always be attentive to your child’s lifestyle. Keep your eyes open to what your child is wearing, how he talks, the friends he carries, and places he goes. A good parent who is able to raise his/her child to make good decisions is one who knows that is going on in his/her child’s life. It’s not to say that you should know EVERYTHING because chances are, you won’t. But the more attentive you can be to what your child is doing and who he is doing it with, the more prepared you’ll be to help him make good decisions in his life. If in doubt, ask questions, tell your child that you want to meet his friends, and always find out where he is going. It’s your right as a parent to know these things.
Instill good moral values in your child at an early age. Teaching your child integrity and how to behave as a person is the best way to raise him to make good decisions. When you teach your child about responsibility, respect, confidence, courage, appreciation, and all the other values that make us good people, you increase his chances for making good choices in his life. A child who respects himself and know how to behave appropriately will be more likely to make good decisions when faced with obstacles in his life. Peer pressure will not take over your child as easy if it’s instill in him that he has an obligation to himself to make the right choices. Help your child to understand what is right and what is wrong at an early age so that he can use this information when he gets older to make good decisions and live a healthier life.
Enlist the help of family and friends. When your child hears you, his parent, talk about making good choices, this is a great starter, but hearing values and beliefs from others he loves will have a greater impact. A child who knows right from wrong because it has been drilled into his head from all that love him will be more likely to make good decisions when he is confronted with issues. Have other in your family talk about good decision making to your child often, even when he is very young. Grandparents, especially, have a great bond with your child and can greatly influence your child’s decisions. Use this to your advantage and ask your child’s grandparents to help encourage him to make the best choices always.
Imitate what you preach. Your child, especially at a young age, will learn best by your example. If you want your child to make good choices, you need to make good decisions as well and show this to your child. Try to be of the best character possible around your child. Teach him how to respect, love, and feel good about himself through your actions of doing the same yourself. You cannot expect your child to be of good moral judgment if you are not behaving appropriately yourself. This means not letting others walk all over you, treat you badly, or encourage you to make bad decisions. Your child needs to see that you respect yourself as a person so that he may follow in your footsteps and make good decisions as well.