Voices Of Youth

Let kids make their own decisions

As a student, I have seen many instances of parents being overly controlling - in extreme cases, the child does not even know how to take public transport, as he gets chauffeured around by his parents.

Restricting their children prevents the development of independence and self-help skills. The children may become fearful of making decisions and facing the outside world alone.

Overparenting may also breed narcissism, poor coping skills and the inability to form interpersonal relationships.

The advent of technology encourages children to mature faster and face the outside world at an earlier age, as they can access a plethora of information.

Parents should encourage children to be independent from a young age and give them opportunities to make their own decisions in life - whether it be allowing them to dress themselves or giving them the freedom to go out with friends.

Certainly, the freedom given to the child should suit his character and needs.

The child should also not abuse his right to freedom, be rebellious or strongly defy his parents.

Yap Ru An, 16 Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2017, with the headline 'Let kids make their own decisions'. Print Edition | Subscribe