I agree with this thinking actually - but my children are not developmentally to the point where this really applies.nibbler wrote: ↑15 Feb 2018, 07:05You could ask them whether they though the decision they made was a good decision or a bad decision instead of telling them it was a bad decision. That gets them reflecting on their own behaviors and how they use their agency. It helps them make judgments of their own behavior rather than always defaulting to accepting judgments others make of their behavior.
E.g. The bishop says I made a bad decision because I drank some herbal tea but I don't think it was a bad decision.
There's a time and a place for everything and there's certainly a time for clear communication, "that was a bad decision," but there are occasional moments where there's an opportunity for a child to learn for themselves through personal evaluation.
And of course you can't ask the question "Was that a good decision?" only after they do something bad. That will quickly devolve into, "I must have done something bad, otherwise they wouldn't be asking." So you might ask the question to get a child to reflect on the good choices they make as well. We can learn from our mistakes and successes. Good and bad experiences are teaching moments. Etc.
But take with a grain of salt. I'm a terrible parent.
We do a lot of "this was a bad decision (making a snide comment, refusing to clean up a mess made by said child) and usually list out or ask her why it was a bad decision. If she was being disrespectful in her communication, we sit with her and talk about ways she could convey the same information or what she really wants us to know using better words (she may not want to clean her room - but she might have a better attitude about it if she can listen to music while doing so). I think we will be on the edge of this "defining the badness of choices for her" vs "having her define the badness of choices" for the next few years.
In family conversations I make statements like "I made this judgement call because of x,y, and z." In part so that she can learn that not all choices are bad, or maybe the options available are making the best choice available out of bad choices.
My daughter's strength and weakness is that she walks through life on words. If it is not spoken, it might as well not exist for her. So we work a lot on non-verbal meaning, tone, and cost-benefit analysis. We are trying to give her the verbal tools and scripts she will need to make decisions out in the world. For daughter #2, it might be different. The foundation may be the same (no calling them a "bad girl") - but she is already well aware of non-verbal communication (in fact, its a bit of a coin toss whether DD#2 is more non-verbally communication aware than DD#1).