If the outcome we hope for in raising our children is that some day they will be responsible adults who make wise decisions... then they will need practice. If they get a good deal of practice while they are little, along with some practice in experiencing the consequences of their decisions, then the likelihood that they will make good decisions as adults increases dramatically.
Why might a parent prevent a child from experiencing the consequences of their decision?
- The parent doesn't want the child to be unhappy.
- The parents does not want the child to experience pain or sadness.
- The parent feels mean when they let their child "suffer."
There is a reason for the old saying that "wisdom is born of pain." Children are little scientists constantly running experiments on what works or doesn't work. Experiencing a negative outcome lets a child know, through experience, about what experiments they might want to avoid repeating. Learning to cope with negative outcomes can build a good deal of character strength as well.
Note: Please assume with me here that we are not talking extreme danger. A parent does not let a 2 year old experience the outcome of getting hit by a car because the child walked into the street. However, having to go inside on a nice day might be an excellent outcome to experience.