Parents Should Involve Kids in Most Big Decisions

family at beachAs parents, we want the best for our kids -- most of our decisions are made because of them ... because of what we think is best for them. But do the kids get a say? Should their vote count? Should we involve them and, if so, how much?

I've been asking my own kids their thoughts on what they want to wear. My son is happy with anything with robots or motorcycles on it. But as for my daughter, she likes to try on many things before she decides. And when we took them on our house hunt and asked them if they liked the one home we thought of putting an offer on, they said yes.

My kids are 2. Maybe we're off our rocker. But if I'm involving them now, I'm fairly certain I will consult with them as time goes on. A recent survey revealed that 64 percent of households ask their children for feedback on major decisions. And why shouldn't they get a say?


Consumer research group The Family Room conducted this study with 1,300 parents and 750 kids, and while more than half asked for their input, 27 percent of parents let their kids make the final decision. These are decisions like what to eat for dinner, what electronics to buy, including computers, and which car is best. Hmm I wonder if the minivan sales are going to take a hit? This decision-sharing is being dubbed "Generation Collaboration" and it's not just "father knows best" anymore -- I'm going to think of it as "family knows best."

It would seem that kids, especially big kids and teens, who are asked for their opinion and advice by their parents would get a great confidence boost and a feeling of involvement. It could build a child's self-esteem, respect for others and themselves, and give them good communication skills.

I think it's also great for us parents. We should be able to talk to our kids openly about things that involve them. Plus, a lot of times kids, especially teens, are more in the know -- why not pick their brains for something that could help the whole family? We can learn from our kids just as they learn from us. It could even make meals more interesting and encourage parents to eat things they normally wouldn't cook. While I am not complaining, the only dishes we ever really ate when I was growing up was some variety of macaroni and sauce, breaded chicken cutlets, rice, and meatloaf (which were all really delicious but I would have loved more variety). Opening up these decision for dinner and beyond is a benefit for all, and what a great way to bond with your kids.

Do you consult with your kids on major decisions? Would you?


Image via photon_de/Flickr

Read More >