My seven-year-old son is a strong-minded boy.
I admire that about him. I also fear he will have a more difficult life because of it. He will have deeper valleys than many of us, but that also means he can have far more exhilarating peaks as well. I see it as my job to guide him and help him reach some of those peaks early in his life so he will have them to remember whenever he is down.
One way to do that is by letting him make his own decisions, even when I know it's the wrong decision.
This morning, he chose to wear winter clothes. I reasoned with him that it was going to be a hot day that he might consider wearing lighter clothing, but he would have none of it.
"How do you know it won't snow today?" he asked.
"Well, I don't for sure," I said. "But I looked outside and it's a beautiful, late spring day. Plus, the weatherman on the radio said it would like be 18 degrees this afternoon."
"I want to wear THESE clothes," he replied with a stubborn, set expression on his face.
"Don't you remember how hot you felt yesterday in your winter clothes?" I asked.
He said nothing.
I shut up and let it go.
I had decreed long ago that decisions about what clothes to wear is in the domain of my children. They get to choose what they want to wear, except when there are safety issues. Even then, I try to reason with them before overruling their decisions.
So off to school he went in his hot winter clothes.
My next task will be not to say "I told you so" when he gets home and complains about how hot he is.