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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 27

Teach them to think for themselves

Not only do your kids have to make their own decisions (Rule 25), but they also need to be able to think for themselves. If your child argues with you, frustrating as it can be, at least it shows they’re thinking independently. And that’s what you want (although possibly you don’t feel as if you want it right now).

I was with a friend the other day whose 5-year-old was being deliberately irritating, as 5-year-olds can. My friend got angry and the 5-year-old got upset at being told off. I was very impressed to hear my friend ask her daughter, ‘Why do you think I’m cross with you?’ The little girl thought about it, and mumbled, ‘Because I didn’t stop when you said stop.’ Now she really wouldn’t have ...

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