Agency Means Nothing Until There Is A Clear Choice
Building strong youth, is all about building into them the ability to make good choices. Our children are going to be faced with all kinds of them, when we aren't around to "coach" them. So practice with choosing, early in life and experiencing consequences for good and ill significantly and early in life, is necessary.
Parents, leaders of youth, especially leaders of adults, seem to reluctant to ask someone to step it up. One fear seems to be that by asking someone to do something, where a "yes" or "no" answer is required, interpersonal relationships run the risk of being damaged if the answer is not what we hope for.
However, until we give someone a choice, a clear choice, they have no opportunity to exercise their right to choose. Therefore they have little opportunity to strengthen their ability to make good and wise choices when no one is around to watch them.
I am not sure why leaders of youth and/or parents are so often reluctant to offer clear choices and administer or allow obvious consequences. I don't understand the motivation behind allowing them skate day after day, without clear choices? Yet, the results of weak youth are everywhere to be seen.
We have a unique opportunity as parents to interact with our children each and every day. By applying the principle of choice and accountability regularly, consistently and daily, we can build into our children a respect for the power of choice they have and a joy in making good choices. Teaching our children to use the power they have to choose, wisely, may be some of the best teaching we ever do in the home, even if a few wrds end up mis-spelled.