There will come a time when you and your child have different opinions. It’s inevitable.
Accept this fact and understand that depending on a child’s age, personality traits, and peer influences, he or she is certain to see things from a different perspective at times.
Accept these differences of opinion and use the opportunity to discuss the topic in question.
Encourage independent thinking and listening to others. Getting to know people better and understanding their perspectives are vital to future emotional and psychological well-being.
It’s also very healthy and affirming for children to hear you say these words when appropriate: “You’re right – I hadn’t thought about it that way.”
When children grasp the idea that we can always learn something new and see something from another point of view, they are more likely to keep open minds as they engage in a spirited defense of their own beliefs.
Help them flesh out their arguments and approach issues from different sides. Show them that everyone is entitled to an opinion but that not all opinions are equally valid, especially if they are based on emotion or misconceptions, rather than fact.
A thoughtful debate is often very educational and stimulating. Helping your children become articulate, thoughtful, and respectful will help them at all stages of their lives.