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TOPIC: Should children be allowed to make their own choices?

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September 27, 2011 6:39 AM
My stepdaughter lives wither mom, who lives by the philosophy, “If she wants to put herself out there like that, that’s her choice”. My stepdaughter is allowed to choose what clothes she wears, even it’s not appropriate. She can decide what type of shows to watch on TV, what kind of music to listen to. (Bad Girls club, the Housewives shows, etc) It’s been this way since she was little, and now that she’s 16, the choices that her mom has allowed her to make are getting her in trouble. She dresses provocatively, posts pictures of her wearing nothing but a bra and panties on facebook, and all kinds of other foolishness. Guess what her mom says? “Well if that’s how she wants to put herself out there, that’s her”. She accepts no responsibility for her child's actions.

Some people allow their kids to choose what they wear, what they eat, or what kind of movie they may like, and I get that, children aren’t robots, they have an opinion. But where do you draw the line on what they can and can’t choose for themselves?
September 27, 2011 6:42 AM
I wonder, would she let a rapist use that as a defense?
"Well, that's how she put herself out there, that's her". Parenting by non-parenting is not parenting.
I do think as children get older they should be allowed to make some bad decisions, to learn that doing so means you also have consequences.
September 27, 2011 6:42 AM
Common sense draws the line, and it sounds like that lady doesn't have any. Her mom is going to reap what her daughter sows and unfortunately so is her daughter. But hey what can you do? They'll learn through negative experiences................hopefully
September 27, 2011 6:42 AM
Im only 19, but me and my boyfriend have talked about what we would do when we get to that point. Will raise our kids to be RESPECTFUL. They have to respect their body. I would never let the undies thing slide on facebook. Thats just asking for trouble
September 27, 2011 6:45 AM
I'm 26 and if I go to my parents wearing a dress or skirt that ISNT to the ground, my dad still (half jokingly) asks "where the rest of it" is.

I think there is a happy medium, but as far as dressing (when it comes to scandalous clothes), underwear pictures online and seriously influential TV shows, the parent needs to step in. Putting pictures like that up especially.....that's dangerous.
Edited by laurad1406 On September 27, 2011 6:45 AM
September 27, 2011 6:45 AM
As a parent I feel I am responsible in leading my daughter in the direction in which I believe is the most respectable in the way she views herself and others. We all have different opinions on what they may be. However, it seems to me that her mother doesn't want her daughter acting in that way, but doesn't want to take responsibility for her. She is still a minor. It's pretty sad if you ask me.
September 27, 2011 6:45 AM
yes when they're adults, but when they're minors... THAT'S WHAT PARENTS ARE FOR!!!
Edited by tabik30 On September 27, 2011 7:28 AM
September 27, 2011 6:46 AM

Parenting by non-parenting is not parenting.

September 27, 2011 6:47 AM
Yeah, if I let my 2-year old make her own choices, she would subsist on Pringles and Smarties. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that parenting involves allowing your children to make their own choices from a list of options that you deem appropriate.

For Example: This morning the above mentioned 2-year old wants cookies and pringles for breakfast. I tell her she can have yogurt or a banana. I allow her to 'choose' from a predetermined list.

The same philosophy will apply to my oldest (8) who is becoming more and more opinionated. I have no problem letting her make certain decisions, but I have the right to identify what she can choose from.
Example: What to wear the first day of school. She wants to wears jeans and a t-shirt. I want her to wear a shirt and matching blouse. In the end: I told her "Mom gets to pick your clothes for the first day, you can pick you clothes for the 2nd day."

Its all about compromise and boundaries. If I caught pics of her on FB half clothed, you better believe the account is getting deleted. And when she can be appropriate, she'll be welcome to set up a new one
September 27, 2011 6:48 AM
well, obviously you cant do anything about it, since the daughter is choosing so and so, and the mom isnt doing anything to stop it, so since it has come this far, i say stop worrying, and let he find out the hard way the trouble she is getting herself into..say she gets arrested for something, and she calls you to come bail her out, let her sit for a couple days to think WHY she is in jail..because of her actions..i dont have teenagers yet myself, but i am a firm believer of learning the hard way ( ok, so worry a bit, but because you are the step mom, i bet she has pulled the " you aren't my mom, i don't have to listen to you" me, i used it much myself ) good luck
September 27, 2011 6:48 AM
Hopefully the negative teenage behaviour will lead to the development of positive adult behaviour. If one is going to get into trouble it's better to do so before reaching that magic age of 18. Hopefully she will begin to see you as a positive adult role model as she gets nearer to that age and will change how she behaves. If not, then it's possible she's looking at a very rocky beginning to adulthood. Have you tried speaking with her about it? Or is that "not your place"? It sucks to see a problem and to not be able to do anything about it. I hope you find yourself in a position from which you can talk to her. :) Good luck.
September 27, 2011 6:48 AM
Children lack the maturity, morality, and common sense to make their own choices. That's why they live with parents! My daughter can choose to wear her Sperry shoes or her Nike shoes, but she cannot choose which shoes get purchased in the first place. They need to learn incrementally, and only be allowed to make age appropriate choices.

I agree withe the other post that said, "Parenting by not parenting is not parenting".
September 27, 2011 6:48 AM
I disagree with all of you...children should be allowed to make the choices I give to them. That is all...
September 27, 2011 6:48 AM
That situation must be very difficult for you since you aren't able to take control of the situation. Sounds like you already know what the limits of decision making should be. The best you can do is talk to the mom, and talk to the daughter. But communicate it in a way that is out of your concern and your step daughter's well being. Not that you know better and are telling them what to do, which is how they may hear it either way. :(

And get your husband involved! He has the authority to take control of the situation.

Best of luck to you and your family.
September 27, 2011 6:48 AM
If children are taught what the right choice is from early on when they get to be teenagers they are far more likely to make the right choice. When they are little they should be allowed to make small choices whithin certain boundaries. Would you like this or that type of choices. Not watch what you want on tv but would you like to watch this or that show. They should be allowed to pick their own clothes but they shouldn't be allowed to buy bad choices to begin with. Everyone has their own free will that they are born with and I never want to take that from my kids, but if I want them to make good moral choices, I have to teach them how.
This poor girl has had zero boundaries and therefore has no sense of what is wrong or right. She is completely responsible for the bad things her daughter is doing now.
September 27, 2011 6:48 AM
If she's never been given any bounderies she's not going to know that she's doing anything wrong.
I would have drawn the line the FIRST time she went down the wrong path, that is my job as a parent. I am suppose to instill values, morals, and self respect & self worth in my children.
My daughter is only 5, and I let her make her own chioces, from things that I have already approved of, like "what dress do you like from these three?"
It sounds like at this point it will be very hard to change a child that has done what ever she wants for so long, but good luck!!
September 27, 2011 6:49 AM
Depends on the age and ability to make choices that will not cause them harm.
Edited by dls06 On September 27, 2011 6:50 AM
September 27, 2011 6:50 AM

I disagree with all of you...children should be allowed to make the choices I give to them. That is all...

haha nice................key words being choices you give to them. Nicely done!
September 27, 2011 6:50 AM

I disagree with all of you...children should be allowed to make the choices I give to them. That is all...

haha well said
September 27, 2011 6:50 AM
Children aren't born into this world knowing all the good choices from the bad. It's up to the parents to teach them. Why do people have children, if they're not willing to make the tough decisions, be the parent, and say NO?
September 27, 2011 6:50 AM
I do think you should somewhat let your child figure their own way, while guiding them to make reasonable choices.

I do, however, think there's something to be said for appropriate clothing.

My son likes to sag his jeans to below his underwear line so that the boxers or briefs peek out.

I keep telling him "Pull up your pants or wear a belt, or I'm making you wear polyester pants, so you can see what truly hideous fashion trends REALLY look like."

Unfortunately, most parents nowadays don't have a lick of common sense and are so busy creating mini-sluts and pimps and "cramping their child's creative side" that they don't think about how this will affect their future.

Who's gonna hire a girl that dresses like she's auditioning for Jersey Shore? Who's going to hire a boy that dresses like a gangsta rapper? Nobody, that's who.
September 27, 2011 6:51 AM
Im confused with why you think she is still a hild.
I dont know what country you are living in, but here at 16 you are no longer a minor.
You can have sex, get married, smoke, drink, vote, move out of your perants house.
The only thing you cant o is gamble which is a bit random..
And i hate to break it to you but she is an adult now and proberlly lost her v like 3 years ago..
September 27, 2011 6:51 AM
I used to give my children choice from very young BUT with very restricted choice - I would maybe choose three things and they then chose 1 of them as they got older the choice was widened in that way my children as they were teenagers reaching an adult age could make good choices based on the knowledge they had gained

I would NEVER allow my children totally free reign but its good to let them think they make some choices for themselves 0 it helps them to grow up and be confident to make a decision
September 27, 2011 6:52 AM
It sounds like you have the common sense. Children don't have moral compasses. That's something that's instilled upon them by giving them guidance and making choices for them when it's appropriate. I don't know what you can do at 16. Maybe get her involved in Church.... or military school if she's really out there.
September 27, 2011 6:53 AM
I allow mine to make there chooses and if I dont approve I let them know right away, Sounds like that little girl needs not to be yelled at for her chooses but set down and told that people look at here and see a easy slutty girl and that she needs to have respect for her body so that others will. maybe not in those words but you get my gist. My mom always always always told me that I needed to leave something for the guys to Imagine other wise they would treat me like a piece of meat! That got the point across. Dont get me wrong I did make a few really bad choices and sneak out looking like a street walker after being treated like meat instead of a friend I quit doing that lol Sounds to me like she is crying out for attention! Maybe if you took her out and showed her how to shop and pick stuff that is pretty but not showing she might take to you and stop doing it at least at your house. Give her a whole day of shopping with you maybe not buying anything but just window shopping.


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