When they learn more about the world and show that they can make better decisions, they are given more responsibility. This means that the court must always review the child`s decisions in light of the best interests test, even if the child is mature enough to make his or her own custody decisions. For example, if the child`s preferred parent is deemed morally inappropriate, abusive or in the past has a history of substance abuse, the court will not place the child with that parent. At what age do we allow a child to make their own decisions or have autonomy in their own life? The most important markers for determining when a child is ready to make thoughtful decisions are ability, judgment, and maturity. The court will usually make several judgments that could affect the child`s upbringing at a custody hearing. Child custody includes issues such as type of custody (joint, shared, etc.), visiting habits, support obligations and other issues. In most cases, the court will work with the child`s parents to reach a decision. Parents usually give them feedback, and they can often base their choice on their requests or suggestions. If you`re starting or trying to start over with your child while helping them work on their decision-making skills, goal setting can be a great strategy for developing their skills. Although I am not a lawyer, from what I understand and what I have learned about a parent`s responsibility to their child, the parent is the caregiver until the child turns 18. Every time your child makes a decision, they have the opportunity to make the best decisions available to them. As you get older, you become more involved in decisions about your future. It also helps them build confidence and understanding of the impact of their decisions.
When you engage together, you share the process by which you make decisions. Teach them to consider all options and work with them to become familiar with the fluid nature of decision-making. If you are able to guide your child in developing their skills, judgment and maturity, you will be well on your way to providing them with the benefits associated with learning and acting on their own. Let them open up and share their thoughts on the decision and its outcome. Listen to what they have to say after making a good or bad decision. The important thing is that you show them how important it is to take control of your decisions and use the knowledge gained to achieve better results in the future. There is no direct path to the development of maturity. Part of your child`s maturation process is making decisions and learning from them. Then, give them the support they need to achieve their goal. By doing so, you build your relationship with them as well as your self-confidence.
If, like me, you believe that your thoughts become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your character, and your character becomes who you are, then you probably already see the great benefits of allowing your child to make their own decisions. If you`re able to establish yourself as a trusted confidant along the way, you`ll lay the foundation for a mutually rewarding lifelong relationship. If you understand the benefits of empowering your children to take on more, you should give your child more freedom in an age-appropriate way. The most common justification is that a child is too young to make legal decisions. Alternatively, the court may often base its decisions on considerations other than the child`s preferences and wishes if the young person has a physical or mental condition that limits his or her decision-making power. That said, and regardless of the legal rights of parents, the practical realities are often that it is impossible to truly regulate the lives of children from mid to late adolescence, at least without challenge or at least resistance. Given this reality, there are government programs that specifically target this group before the age of majority; For example, children aged 16 and 17 may be eligible for social assistance under Ontario Works. Stay with them and observe the joy and pride that develops in your child when he realizes that he can do it for himself and be great. For many, it will take some time to develop. Do not despair. It`s worth spending time supporting your child. Working with them before making a decision won`t always be an option.