When should parents let teens make their own decisions?
I like the discussion between FOS and Judi.
Growing up Dad had lots of different jobs,mostly as a farm worker, so I got to spend a lot of time out on farms.
When I was 4 Dad gave me a job to do that he thought I could not do – just to shut me up and get me out of the way – involving starting a tractor, moving it, loading on some hay, then bringing it back to the milking shed. I managed to do it.
After that, I was slowing allowed a lot of responsibility. By the time I was 12, I was using all the machinery (tractors, dozers, loaders, trucks, cars, etc on the farm. I enjoyed it.
I think most people are overly protective and deny their children the freedom to make mistakes, instead laying down laws.
That rarely works.
People learn by doing.
We learn how to deal with responsibility by having it. There really isn’t any other effective way. It is how our neural networks operate.
So I am all in favour of encouraging all children, all ages, to explore whatever interests them, and to make as many decisions as possible along the way. Certainly under supervision where risk requires it, until they can demonstrate competence.