Understanding opinions

Whether we’re the grown up or the child, we will always have an opinion. No matter what values we put in place, children will still have their own opinions.

It’s our job as parents to learn how to be more understanding of our children’s opinions, as long as their opinions of what they want for themselves, don’t interfere with their health. Even if we’re not parents, it’s up to our parents to try to be more understanding of us.

It isn’t easy for any parent to discuss opinions with their children without sounding discouraging, as we continue to look for a compromise between what we want for our children and what they want for themselves. Reaching a compromise where everyone is happy isn’t always easy. Sometimes children can be forthright with their opinions, which can make discussions a little more difficult.

Many adults will have gone through the process, albeit in a different era and will likely form opinions on what they want for themselves, but children may work to do the opposite, as they can be easily swayed by other people’s opinions.

It is important children learn to block out other people’s opinions so they form their own, but as with everything in life, that only comes from experience.


16 Apr, 2013

12 thoughts on “Understanding opinions

  1. Well said. Children do need to express thier own opinions, but we as parents need to listen and correct the one’s that are wrong and lead the child to the truth.

    My oldest daughter was very opinionated mostly about me, the step-mom and I heard her opinions from other people. Of course they were mostly all bad, but that was her opinion and she rebelled against me terribly.

    Now that she has her own family she understands and yet has to apoligize for the things she said against me but I think she will in the future. She has said she understands how I felt and feel.

    Growing up I felt that my opinions didn’t matter. So I basically kept my mouth shut. I still feel my opinions don’t matter much.

    1. Thanks Lisa. It is a shame parents have this kind of behaviour to put up with, but I think society and environmental and outside influences play their part and make it incredibly difficult for us as parents to do our job.

      I hope that you eventually get the apology you deserve to have.

  2. Children should have their own ideas. It should never be discouraged that they have their own thoughts and ideas. That is how we grow as people.

    I know my father always puts me down and he thought some of my ideas were crazy growing up. To this day because of that I do not share my thoughts and ideas with him.

    It tends to stop the flow of ideas between a parent and his son. Putting me down as a child did a lot of damage to our relationship that continues to this day.

    1. I agree with you and you’re absolutely right Randy, but speaking from experience that is not always how it always is, but should be. From your response that seems to have been your upbringing too.

      It does not only damage ones relationship as you say, but may also damage our emotional health. In the longer term it may also damage our physical health as well.

      1. Unfortunately the same thing is true with me and my brother.

        Yes I agree it damages our emotional and physical health. It can give me a pain in my stomach sometimes. You tend to want to avoid the other person as much as possible.

        1. It’s a shame you cannot sort out the problems between you and your brother. Unfortunately quite often, how we are with our siblings stems from our childhood with our parents.

          I appreciate what you’re saying about tending to want to avoid the other person. Even if those measures are put in place, it never solves our problems in the longer term.

  3. It’s always a good thing to have open communication with your child. Growing up it was pretty much a common thing to have a sit down talk with my mom about anything that was going on in our lives. That has followed me into my adult life.

    I still go to her and spill the beans and she adds her opinions which helps us see both sides of things. I try and do the same with my son. His father also follows the same kind of thing with him.

    Once they become teenagers it is hard to get them to open up to you. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to find out what is going on with them.

    I still offer my open door if my son ever has anything he needs to discuss, he has yet to come to me with anything but it’s nice to know that if he needs anything I will be here for him.

    1. What you describe in your childhood Maria is perfect. How lovely. That’s exactly how it should be, between a parent and their child. I’m pleased you had it.

  4. Yes, I would imagine it’s a great thing to be able to talk with your children about their opinions without having to force your own upon them.

    It’s not something I have a lot of experience with, since my opinion never mattered when I was a child to the point where I stopped believing it was OK for me to have one.

    My Daughter has always been very passive, so I don’t really remember having any arguments with her on her opinions. She didn’t really know a lot of what I thought until after she was 18, when we were able to have more open conversations.

    In some ways she grew up in an environment a lot like mine, so I do try to remind her at times that it’s OK for her to have an opinion about what she has to deal with in her home.

    Hopefully I can continue to have the strength to help her stand up for her opinions and realize it does matter!

    1. I know you know both of your opinions matter Randy and it’s absolutely right AND more than OK for your daughter to have an opinion. I would have like to have had at least one myself.

      The fact that you’ve had open conversations with your daughter, means you’re doing a lot right Randy.

      I know you are strong enough.

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