Hard Decisions


Today we are talking about upsetting our kids. Sometimes as parents, we have to make hard decisions for our kids. Decisions they don’t like. Decisions that upset them. We are talking about feeling that tension between what your child wants you to do versus what you actually need to do. 

This tension can quickly turn into fear. Fear that they will whine. Fear they will be disappointed. Fear that they will cry. Maybe even fear that they will be traumatized (I hear this one a lot from you all!). 

Here’s where I feel like it gets confusing. We are all striving to be responsive, respectful parents. We want to honor our children’s individuality. We want to honor their choices. We want to empower them to make important decisions in their own lives. 

BUT...our kids don’t have fully developed reasoning skills. They can’t fully see through the implications of their decisions. They can’t always understand our rationale. They often live in the moment. 

We are the adults with fully developed brains, decision-making skills, and credit cards. 

As they grow, we can and should include our kids in the decision-making process, but we have to ultimately be the “brain managers” who oversee the decisions. We have to set the values for our family and uphold those values. I’m going to talk you through a few recent situations recently I’ve had where I’ve felt that tension and how I’ve communicated these decisions to my kids. 

Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.