I often say that the one of the most important principles you can teach your children is to make good choices.
And the way to make good choices is by learning to make good choices at the youngest age possible.
Parents, I would suggest that you don't wait until they are a teenager to place them in a position to make a choice(s). Let them start as soon as possible.
Talk about the choices they make.
When they are good choices affirm them.
When they make bad choices - use them as a teaching tool to help them grow - and affirm your love for them at the same time.
However, here is a principle that we can all follow - as we seek to make choices - but choices that deal with the gray areas of life - what do we do when we don't know what to do?
Here's the answer in two words: Be responsible.
Most of the choices we make in life are neither here nor there as far as right or wrong are concerned.
They are neutral.
What color of clothes you decide to wear on any given day.
If you decide to be a plumber or a doctor.
Whether you go to a White Sox game or not.
There is no moral or immoral sense in these aspects of life.
Maybe 95% of our daily decisions are about things that do not matter one way or the other morally.
So what do you do?
When in doubt - be responsible.
For instance, there may not be a specific rule to keep you from driving a certain way, but when in doubt drive responsibly.
There might not be a specific rule on what you can or cannot take home from work, but when in doubt be responsible.
There might not be a specific rule on what you can or cannot say when you are with a group of people, but when in doubt, be responsible.
Whether we like to admit it or not - our actions and words do affect the lives of others.
And - by acting responsibly in a bad situation, you can turn a wrong into the start of something good.
Just as you and I can spoil a good act by doing something irresponsible, we can turn a bad action (or word) into something good by being responsible.
So today, why not respect the rules. Why not consider the consequences. Why not be responsible - and the world will be a better place.
Just a thought for a Thursday.